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History of Egypt 

Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria 


By L. W. KING, M. A., F.S. A., and H. R. HALL, M.A. 

Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum. 














lEtrtttott National? 

Limited to One Thousand Copies 
for England and America 


Copyright, igo6, by 
The Grolikr Society 


It should be noted that many of the monuments and 
sites of excavations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and 
Kurdistan described in this volume have been visited 
by the authors in connection with their own work in 
those countries. The greater number of the photo- 
graphs here published were taken by the authors them- 
selves. Their thanks are due to M. Ernest Leroux, of 
Paris, for his kind permission to reproduce a certain 
number of plates from the works of M. de Morgan, illus- 
trating his recent discoveries in Egypt and Persia, and 
to Messrs. W. A. Mansell & Co., of London, for kindly 
allowing them to make use of a number of photographs 
issued by them. 



The present volume contains an account of the most 
important additions which have been made to our knowl- 
edge of the ancient history of Egypt and Western Asia 
during the few years which have elapsed since the pub- 
lication of Prof. Maspero's Histoire Ancienne des Pen- 
pies de V Orient Classique, and includes short descrip- 
tions of the excavations from which these results have 
been obtained. It is in no sense a connected and con- 
tinuous history of these countries, for that has already 
been written by Prof. Maspero, but is rather intended 
as an appendix or addendum to his work, briefly re- 
capitulating and describing the discoveries made since 
its appearance. On this account we have followed a 
geographical rather than a chronological system of ar- 
rangement, but at the same time the attempt has been 
made to suggest to the mind of the reader the historical 
sequence of events. 

At no period have excavations been pursued with 
more energy and activity, both in Egypt and Western 
Asia, than at the present time, and every season's work 
obliges us to modify former theories, and extends our 


knowledge of periods of history which even ten years 
ago were unknown to the historian. For instance, a 
whole chapter has been added to Egyptian history by 
the discovery of the Neolithic culture of the primitive 
Egyptians, while the recent excavations at Susa are 
revealing a hitherto totally unsuspected epoch of proto- 
Elaniite civilization. Further than this, we have dis- 
covered the relics of the oldest historical kings of 
Egypt, and we are now enabled to reconstitute from 
material as yet unpublished the inter-relations of 
the early dynasties of Babylon. Important discover- 
ies have also been made with regard to isolated points 
in the later historical periods. We have therefore at- 
tempted to include the most important of these in our 
survey of recent excavations and their results. We 
would again remind the reader that Prof. Maspero's 
great work must be consulted for the complete his- 
tory of the period, the present volume being, not a 
connected history of Egypt and Western Asia, but a 
description and discussion of the manner in which re- 
cent discovery and research have added to and modified 
our conceptions of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian 




I. The Discovery of Prehistoric Egypt 1 

II. Abydos and the First Three Dynasties .... 55 

III. Memphis and the Pyramids 91 

IV. Recent Excavations in Western Asia and the Dawn of 

Chald^ean History 143 

V. Elam and Babylon, the Country of the Sea and the 

Kassites 221 

VI. Early Babylonian Life and Customs 265 

VII. Temples and Tombs of Thebes 317 

VIII. The Assyrian and Neo - Babylonian Empires in the Light 

of Recent Research ........ 388 

IX. The Last Days of Ancient Egypt 428 




Statue of Rui, High Priest in the Reign of Ramses II . . Frontispiece 

The bed of an ancient watercourse in the Wadiyen, Thebes ... 7 

Palaeolithic Implements of the Quaternary Period 8 

Palaeolithic Implements .......... 9 

Upper desert plateau, where Palaeolithic Implements are found ... 12 

Flint Knife mounted in a gold handle 15 

Buff Ware Vase, predynastic period 17 

Camp of the expedition of the University of California at Nag' ed-Der, 

1901 27 

Portion of the " Stele of Vultures " found at Telloh, representing the burial 

of the dead after a battle ......... 38 

Obverse of a slate relief representing the King of Upper Egypt in the form 

of a Bull 50 

Reverse of a slate relief . . . . . . . . . .51 

Obverse of a slate relief with representations of the Egyptian nomes . 52 

Reverse of a slate relief representing animals ...... 53 

Professor Petrie's camp at Abydos, 1901 . . . . . . .60 

The Tomb of King Den at Abydos . 65 

Examples of conical vase-stoppers taken from Abydos .... 67 

The Tomb of King Tjeser at B§t Khallaf 82 

False Door of the Tomb of Teta, an official of the IVth Dynasty . . 86 

The Shfinet ez-Zebib : the fortress-town of the lid Dynasty at Abydos . 89 

Statue No. 1 of the Cairo Museum ........ 100 

Exterior of the southern Brick Pyramid of Dashur : Xllth Dynasty . . 109 
The Pyramids of Giza during the inundation . . . . . .111 

List of Archaic cuneiform signs 147 

Fragment of a list of Archaic cuneiform signs ...... 150 

Obelisk of Manishtusu, King of the City of Kish 155 

Babil, the most northern mound which marks the site of the ancient city 

of Babylon 160 

" Stele of Victory," representing Naram-Sin conquering his enemies . . 160 



Roughly hewn sculpture of a lion standing over a fallen man, found at 

Babylon ............ 161 

General view of the excavations on the Kasr at Babylon 

View within the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II . 

Excavations in the temple of Ninib at Babylon . 

The principal mound of Birs Niinrud, which marks the site of the ancient 

city of Borsippa ...... 

The principal mound at Sherghat, which marks the site of Ashur, the 

ancient capital of the Assyrians . 
The mound of Kuyunjik, one of the palace mounds of the ancient Assyrian 

city of Nineveh ...... 

Winged bull in the palace of Sennacherib on Kuyunjik, the principal 

mound marking the site of Nineveh . 
Clay memorial-tablet of Eannadu, viceroy of Shirpurla 
Marble gate-socket bearing an inscription of Entemena, a powerful Patesi 

of Shirpurla ...... 

Stone gate-socket bearing an inscription of Ur-Engur, an early king of the 

city of Ur 

Statue of Gudea, viceroy of Shirpurla 

Tablet inscribed in Sumerian with details of a survey of certain property 
Clay tablet, found at Susa, bearing an inscription in the early proto 

Elamite character 

Clay tablet, found at Susa, bearing an inscription in the early proto 

Elamite character ......... 

Block of limestone, found at Susa, bearing inscriptions of Karibu-sha- 

Shushinak ....... 

Brick stamped with an inscription of Kudur-mabug 

Semitic Babylonian contract-tablet, inscribed in the reign of Hammurabi 

with a deed recording the division of property .... 

A Kudurru, or Boundary -stone, inscribed with a text of Nazimaruttash 

A Kudurru, or Boundary-stone, inscribed with a text of Melishikhu . 

Fpper part of the Stele of Hammurabi, King of Babylon . 

Clay contract-tablet and its outer case, First Dynasty 

A track in the desert .......... 

A camping-ground in the desert, between Birejik and Urfa 

Approach to the city of Samarra, situated on the left bank of the Tigris 

A small caravan in the mountains of Kurdistan . 

The city of Mosul 

The village of Nebi Yunus .... 

Portrait-sculpture of Hammurabi, King of Babylon 

A modern machine for irrigation on the Euphrates 

Kaiks, or native boats, on the Euphrates at Birejik 

The modern bridge of boats across the Tigris opposite Mosul 















A small Kelek, or raft, upon the Tigris at Baghdad ..... 299 

Statue of Mera, Chief Steward, IXth Dynasty 320 

Wall of Xlth Dynasty : Der el-Bahari 324 

Wall of XVIIIth Dynasty : Der el-Bahari 325 

Excavation of the north lower colonnade of the Xlth dynasty temple, 

Der el-Bahari, 1904 326 

The granite threshold and sandstone pillars of the Xlth dynasty temple, 

at Der el-Bahari 327 

Excavation of the tomb of a priestess, on the platform of the Xlth Dynasty 

temple, Der el-Bahari, 1904 . ........ 328 

Cases of antiquities leaving Der el-Bahari for transport to Cairo . . 330 
Shipping cases of antiquities on board the Nile steamer at Luxor, for the 

Egypt Exploration Fund ......... 331 

Statue of Queen Teta-shera ......... 339 

The two temples of Der el-Bahari ........ 344 

The upper court and trilithon gate of the XVIIIth Dynasty temple at D§r 

el-Bahari 346 

The tomb-mountain of Amenhetep III in the western valley, Thebes . 350 

The tomb-hill of Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna, Thebes 356 

Wall painting from a Tomb at Shekh Abd el-Kurna, Western Thebes . 358 

Fresco in the tomb of Senmut, at Thebes ....... 360 

The valley of the Tombs of the Queens at Thebes ..... 372 

The Nile-Bank at Luxor 374 

The Great Temple at Karnak ......... 376 

M. Legrain's excavation of the Karnak statues ...... 379 

Portrait-group of a great noble and his wife, of the time of the XVIIIth 

Dynasty 381 

A tomb fitted up as an Explorer's Residence ...... 382 

Stone Object Bearing a Votive Inscription of Arik-den-ilu . . . 396 
Entrance into one of the Galleries or Tunnels of the principal mound at 

Sherghat . 397 

Stone tablet of Tukulti-Ninib I, King of Assyria 408 

The Ziggurat, or Temple Tower, of the Assyrian city of Calah . . . 409 
Work on one of the Rock-Inscriptions of Sennacherib, near Bavian in 

Assyria 413 

The Principal Rock Sculptures in the Gorge of the Gomel near Bavian . 414 

The rock and citadel of Van 415 

Ancient Flight of steps and gallery on the face of the Rock-citadel of Van 417 
Part of the ancient fortifications of the city of Van . . . . .419 

Within the Shrine of E-makh, Temple of the Goddess Nin-makh . . 425 
Trench in the Babylonian Plain, between the mound of the Kasr and Tell 

Amran ibn-Ali, showing a section of the paved sacred way . . 426 

The Great Dam of Aswan, showing water rushing through the sluices . 447 



The Kiosk at Philse in process of underpinning and restoration, January, 

1*'''— • • • • • • • « • • • •rr*i*7 

The Ancient Quay of Philae, November, 1904 ...... 450 

The Rock of Konosso in January, 1902, before the building of the Dam . 452 
The Isle of the Konosso, with its inscriptions, Xovember, 1904 . . . 454 



In the Light of Recent Excavation and Research 



TiURINGr the last ten years our conception of the 
beginnings of Egyptian antiquity has profoundly 
altered. When Prof. Maspero published the first vol- 
ume of his great Histoire Ancienne des Peuples des 
V Orient Classique, in 1895, Egyptian history, properly 
so called, still began with the Pyramid-builders, Sne- 
feru, Khufu, and Khafra (Cheops and Chephren), and 
the legendary lists of earlier kings preserved at Abydos 
and Sakkara were still quoted as the only source of 
knowledge of the time before the IVth Dynasty. Of 
a prehistoric Egypt nothing was known, beyond a few 
flint flakes gathered here and there upon the desert 
plateaus, which might or might not tell of an age when 
the ancestors of the Pyramid-builders knew only the 
stone tools and weapons of the primeval savage. 

Now, however, the veil which has hidden the begin- 
nings of Egyptian civilization from us has been lifted, 
and we see things, more or less, as they actually were, 

unobscured by the traditions of a later day. Until the 



last few years nothing of the real beginnings of history 
in either Egypt or Mesopotamia had been found; legend 
supplied the only material for the reconstruction of the 
earliest history of the oldest civilized nations of the 
globe. Nor was it seriously supposed that any rel- 
ics of prehistoric Egypt or Mesopotamia ever would 
be found. The antiquity of the known history of these 
countries already appeared so great that nobody took 
into consideration the possibility of our discovering a 
prehistoric Egypt or Mesopotamia; the idea was too 
remote from practical work. And further, civilization 
in these countries had lasted so long that it seemed more 
than probable that all traces of their prehistoric age 
had long since been swept away. Yet the possibility, 
which seemed hardly worth a moment's consideration 
in 1895, is in 1905 an assured reality, at least as far as 
Egypt is concerned. Prehistoric Babylonia has yet to 
be discovered. It is true, for example, that at Mukay- 
yar, the site of ancient Ur of the Chaldees, burials in 
earthenware coffins, in which the skeletons lie in the 
doubled-up position characteristic of Neolithic inter- 
ments, have been found; but there is no doubt whatever 
that these are burials of a much later date, belonging, 
quite possibly, to the Parthian period. Nothing that 
may rightfully be termed prehistoric has yet been 
found in the Euphrates valley, whereas in Egypt pre- 
historic antiquities are now almost as well known and 
as well represented in our museums as are the prehis- 
toric antiquities of Europe and America. 

With the exception of a few palaeoliths from the sur- 


face of the Syrian desert, near the Euphrates valley, 
not a single implement of the Age of Stone has yet been 
found in Southern Mesopotamia, whereas Egypt has 
yielded to us the most perfect examples of the flint- 
knapper's art known, flint tools and weapons more 
beautiful than the finest that Europe and America can 
show. The reason is not far to seek. Southern Meso- 
potamia is an alluvial country, and the ancient cities, 
which doubtless mark the sites of the oldest settlements 
in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain 
between the Tigris and the Euphrates; so that all traces 
of the Neolithic culture of the country would seem to 
have disappeared, buried deep beneath city-mounds, clay 
and marsh. It is the same in the Egyptian Delta, a 
similar country; and here no traces of the prehistoric 
culture of Egypt have been found. The attempt to find 
them was made last year at Buto, which is known to be 
one of the most antique centres of civilization, and prob- 
ably was one of the earliest settlements in Egypt, but 
without success. The infiltration of water had made 
excavation impossible and had no doubt destroyed 
everything belonging to the most ancient settlement. It 
is not going too far to predict that exactly the same 
thing will be found by any explorer who tries to dis- 
cover a Neolithic stratum beneath a city-mound of Baby- 
lonia. There is little hope that prehistoric Chaldaea 
will ever be known to us. But in Egypt the conditions 
are different. The Delta is like Babylonia, it is true; 
but in the Upper Nile valley the river flows down with 
but a thin border of alluvial land on either side, through 


the rocky and hilly desert, the dry Sahara, where rain 
falls but once in two or three years. Antiquities buried 
in this soil in the most remote ages are preserved intact 
as they were first interred, until the modern investi- 
gator comes along to look for them. And it is on the 
desert margin of the valley that the remains of pre- 
historic Egypt have been found. That is the reason for 
their perfect preservation till our own day, and why 
we know prehistoric Egypt so well. 

The chief work of Egyptian civilization was the 
proper irrigation of the alluvial soil, the turning of 
marsh into cultivated fields, and the reclamation of land 
from the desert for the purposes of agriculture. Owing 
to the rainless character of the country, the only means 
of obtaining water for the crops is by irrigation, and 
where the fertilizing Mle water cannot be taken by 
means of canals, there cultivation ends and the desert 
begins. Before Egyptian civilization, properly so called, 
began, the valley was a great marsh through which 
the Nile found its way north to the sea. The half- 
savage, stone-using ancestors of the civilized Egyp- 
tians hunted wild fowl, crocodiles, and hippopotami in 
the marshy valley; but except in a few isolated settle- 
ments on convenient mounds here and there (the fore- 
runners of the later villages), they did not live there. 
Their settlements were on the dry desert margin, and 
it was here, upon low tongues of desert hill jutting out 
into the plain, that they buried their dead. Their 
simple shallow graves were safe from the flood, and, 
but for the depredations of jackals and hyenas, here 


they have remained intact till our own day, and have 
yielded up to us the facts from which we have derived 
our knowledge of prehistoric Egypt. Thus it is that 
we know so much of the Egyptians of the Stone Age, 
while of their contemporaries in Mesopotamia we know 
nothing, nor is anything further likely to be discov- 

But these desert cemeteries, with their crowds of 
oval shallow graves, covered by only a few inches of 
surface soil, in which the Neolithic Egyptians lie 
crouched up with their flint implements and polished 
pottery beside them, are but monuments of the later 
age of prehistoric Egypt. Long before the Neolithic 
Egyptian hunted his game in the marshes, and here 
and there essayed the work of reclamation for the pur- 
poses of an incipient agriculture, a far older race in- 
habited the valley of the Nile. The written records of 
Egyptian civilization go back four thousand years be- 
fore Christ, or earlier, and the Neolithic Age of Egypt 
must go back to a period several thousand years before 
that. But we can now go back much further still, to the 
Palaeolithic Age of Egypt. At a time when Europe was 
still covered by the ice and snows of the Glacial Period, 
and man fought as an equal, hardly yet as a superior, 
with cave-bear and mammoth, the Palaeolithic Egyptians 
lived on the banks of the Nile. Their habitat was 
doubtless the desert slopes, often, too, the plateaus 
themselves; but that they lived entirely upon the 
plateaus, high up above the Nile marsh, is improbable. 
There, it is true, we find their flint implements, the 


great pear-shaped weapons of the types of Chelles, St. 
Acheul, and Le Moustier, types well known to all who 
are acquainted with the flint implements of the "Drift" 
in Europe. And it is there that the theory, generally 
accepted hitherto, has placed the habitat of the makers 
and users of these implements. 

The idea was that in Palaeolithic days, contemporary 
with the Glacial Age of Northern Europe and America, 
the climate of Egypt was entirely different from that 
of later times and of to-day. Instead of dry desert, the 
mountain plateaus bordering the Nile valley were sup- 
posed to have been then covered with forest, through 
which flowed countless streams to feed the river below. 
It was suggested that remains of these streams were to 
be seen in the side ravines, or wadis, of the Nile valley, 
which run up from the low desert on the river level 
into the hills on either hand. These wadis undoubtedly 
show extensive traces of strong water action; the} r 
curve and twist as the streams found their easiest way 
to the level through the softer strata, they are heaped 
up with great water-worn boulders, they are hollowed 
out where waterfalls once fell. They have the appear- 
ance of dry watercourses, exactly what any mountain 
burns would be were the water-supply suddenly cut off 
for ever, the climate altered from rainy to eternal sun- 
glare, and every plant and tree blasted, never to grow 
again. Acting on the supposition that this idea was 
a correct one, most observers have concluded that the 
climate of Egypt in remote periods was very differ- 
ent from the dry, rainless one now obtaining. To 


provide the water for the wadi streams, heavy rainfall 
and forests are desiderated. They were easily supplied, 
on the hypothesis. Forests clothed the mountain pla- 
teaus, heavy rains fell, and the water rushed down to 
the Nile, carving out the great watercourses which 


remain to this day, bearing testimony to the truth. 
And the flints, which the Palaeolithic inhabitants of the 
plateau-forests made and used, still lie on the now tree- 
less and sun-baked desert surface. 

This is certainly a very weak conclusion. In fact, 
it seriously damages the whole argument, the water- 


courses to the contrary notwithstanding. The palae- 
oliths are there. They can be picked up by any visitor. 
There they lie, great flints of the Drift types, just like 
those found in the gravel-beds of England and Belgium, 
on the desert surface where they were made. Un- 
doubtedly where they were made, for the places where 
they lie are the actual ancient flint workshops, where 
the flints were chipped. Everywhere around are innu- 
merable flint chips and perfect weapons, burnt black 
and patinated by ages of sunlight. We are taking one 
particular spot in the hills of Western Thebes as an 
example, but there are plenty of others, such as the 
Wadi esh-Shekh on the right bank of the Nile opposite 
Maghagha, whence Mr. H. Seton-Karr has brought back 
specimens of flint tools of all ages from the Palaeolithic 
to the Neolithic periods. 

The Palaeolithic flint workshops on the Theban hills 
have been visited of late years by Mr. Seton-Karr, by 
Prof. Schweinfurth, Mr. Allen Sturge, and Dr. Blanck- 
enhorn, by Mr. Portch, Mr. Ayrton, and Mr. Hall. The 
weapons illustrated here were found by Messrs. Hall 
and Ayrton, and are now preserved in the British Mu- 
seum. Among these flints shown we notice two fine 
specimens of the pear-shaped type of St. Acheul, 
with curious adze-shaped implements of primitive 
type to left and right. Below, to the right, is a 
very primitive instrument of Chellean type, being 
merely a sharpened pebble. Above, to left and right, 
are two specimens of the curious half-moon-shaped 
instruments which are characteristic of the Theban flint 

Palaeolithic Implements of the Quaternary Period. 
From the desert plateau and slopes west of Thebes. 



field, and are hardly known elsewhere. All have the 
beautiful brown patina, which only ages of sunburn can 
give. The " poignard " type to the left, at the bottom 
of the plate, is broken off short. 

In the smaller illustration we see some remarkable 
types: two scrapers or 
knives with strongly 
marked " bulb of per- 
cussion " (the spot 
where the flint-knapper 
struck and from which 
the flakes flew off), a 
very regular coup-de- 
poing which looks al- 
most like a large arrow- 
head, and on the right 
a much weathered and 
patinated scraper which 
must be of immemorial 
age. This came from 
the top plateau, not 
from the slopes (or subsidiary plateaus at the head of 
the wadis), as did the great St. Acheulian weapons. The 
circular object is very remarkable: it is the half of the 
ring of a " morpholith " (a round flinty accretion often 
found in the Theban limestone) which has been split, 
and the split (flat) side carefully bevelled. Several of 
these interesting objects have been found in conjunction 
with Palaeolithic implements at Thebes. No doubt the 
flints lie on the actual surface where they were made. 


From Man, March, 1905. 


No later water action has swept them away and cov- 
ered them with gravel, no later human habitation has 
hidden them with successive deposits of soil, no gradual 
deposit of dust and rubbish has buried them deep. 
They lie as they were left in the far-away Palaeolithic 
Age, and they have lain there till taken away by the 
modern explorer. 

But this is not the case with all the Palaeolithic flints 
of Thebes. In the j^ear 1882 Ma j .-Gen. Pitt-Rivers 
discovered Palaeolithic flints in the deposit of diluvial 
detritus which lies between the cultivation and the 
mountains on the west bank of the Nile opposite Luxor. 
Many of these are of the same type as those found on 
the surface of the mountain plateau which lies at the 
head of the great wadi of the Tombs of the Kings, while 
the diluvial deposit is at its mouth. The stuff of which 
the detritus is composed evidently came originally from 
the high plateau, and was washed down, with the flints, 
in ancient times. 

This is quite conceivable, but how is it that the flints 
left behind on the plateau remain on the original an- 
cient surface? How is it conceivable that if (on the 
old theory) these plateaus were in Palaeolithic days 
clothed with forest, the Palaeolithic flints could even in 
a single instance remain undisturbed from Palaeolithic 
times to the present day, when the forest in which they 
were made and the forest soil on which they reposed 
have entirely disappeared? If there were woods and 
forests on the heights, it would seem impossible that 
we should find, as we do, Palaeolithic implements lying 


in situ on the desert surface, around the actual manu- 
factories where they were made. Yet if the constant 
rainfall and the vegetation of the Libyan desert area 
in Palaeolithic days is all a myth (as it most probably 
is), how came the embedded palaeoliths, found by Gen. 
Pitt-Rivers, in the bed of diluvial detritus which is 
apparently debris from the plateau brought down by 
the Palaeolithic wadi streams? 

Water erosion has certainly formed the Theban 
wadis. But this water erosion was probably not that 
which would be the result of perennial streams flowing 
down from wooded heights, but of torrents like those 
of to-day, which fill the wadis once in three years or 
so after heavy rain, but repeated at much closer inter- 
vals. We may in fact suppose just so much difference 
in meteorological conditions as would make it possible 
for sudden rain-storms to occur over the desert at far 
more frequent intervals than at present. That would 
account for the detritus bed at the mouth of the wadi, 
and its embedded flints, and at the same time maintain 
the general probability of the idea that the desert pla- 
teaus were desert in Palaeolithic days as now, and that 
early man only knapped his flints up there because he 
found the flint there. He himself lived on the slopes 
and nearer the marsh. 

This new view seems to be much sounder and more 
probable than the old one, maintained by Flinders 
Petrie and Blanckenhorn, according to which the high 
plateau was the home of man in Palaeolithic times, when 
" the rainfall, as shown by the valley erosion and water- 



falls, must have caused an abundant vegetation on the 
plateau, where man could live and hunt his game." 1 
Were this so, it is patent that the Palaeolithic flints could 
not have been found on the desert surface as they are. 
Mr. H. J. L. Beadnell, of the Geological Survey of 


Thebes : 1,400 feet above the Nile. 

Egypt, to whom we are indebted for the promulgation 
of the more modern and probable view, says: " Is it 
certain that the high plateau was then clothed with 
forests? What evidence is there to show that it differed 
in any important respect from its present aspect? And 
if, as I suggest, desert conditions obtained then as now, 

1 Petrie, Nagada and Ballas, p. 49. 


and man merely worked his flints along the edges of 
the plateaus overlooking the Nile valley, I see no rea- 
son why flint implements, dating even from Palaeolithic 
times, should not in favourable cases still be found in 
the spots where they were left, surrounded by the 
flakes struck off in manufacture. On the flat plateaus 
the occasional rains which fall— once in three or four 
years— can effect but little transport of material, and 
merely lower the general level by dissolving the under- 
lying limestone, so that the plateau surface is left with 
a coating of nodules and blocks of insoluble flint and 
chert. Flint implements might thus be expected to 
remain in many localities for indefinite periods, but 
they would certainly become more or less ' patinated,' 
pitted on the surface, and rounded at the angles after 
long exposure to heat, cold, and blown sand." This is 
exactly the case of the Palaeolithic flint tools from the 
desert plateau. 

We do not know whether Palaeolithic man in Egypt 
was contemporary with the cave-man of Europe. We 
have no means of gauging the age of the Palaeolithic 
Egyptian weapons, as we have for the Neolithic period. 
The historical (dynastic) period of Egyptian annals 
began with the unification of the kingdom under one 
head somewhere about 4500 b. c. At that time copper 
as well as stone weapons were used, so that we may 
say that at the beginning of the historical age the 
Egyptians were living in the " Chalcolithic " period. 
We can trace the use of copper back for a considerable 
period anterior to the beginning of the 1st Dynasty, 


so that we shall probably not be far wrong if we do not 
bring down the close of the purely Neolithic Age in 
Egypt— the close of the Age of Stone, properly so called 
—later than + 5000 b. c. How far back in the remote 
ages the transition period between the Palaeolithic and 
Neolithic Ages should be placed, it is utterly impossible 
to say. The use of stone for weapons and implements 
continued in Egypt as late as the time of the Xllth 
Dynasty, about 2500 - 2000 b. c. But these Xllth Dy- 
nasty stone implements show by their forms how late 
they are in the history of the Stone Age. The axe 
heads, for instance are in form imitations of the copper 
and bronze axe heads usual at that period; they are 
stone imitations of metal, instead of the originals on 
whose model the metal weapons were formed. The 
flint implements of the Xllth Dynasty were a curious 
survival from long past ages. After the time of the 
Xllth Dynasty stone was no longer used for tools or 
weapons, except for the sacred rite of making the first 
incision in the dead bodies before beginning the opera- 
tions of embalming; for this purpose, as Herodotus tells 
us, an " Ethiopian stone " was used. This was no 
doubt a knife of flint or chert, like those of the Neo- 
lithic ancestors of the Egyptians, and the continued use 
of a stone knife for this one purpose only is a very 
interesting instance of a ceremonial survival. We may 
compare the wigs of British judges. 

We have no specimen of a flint knife which can defi- 
nitely be asserted to have belonged to an embalmer, but 
of the archaistic flint weapons of the Xllth Dynasty 

*U 4 

Flint Knife. 
Photograph reproduced from M. de Morgan's Tlecherches. 



we have several specimens. They were found by Prof. 
Petrie at the place named by him " Kahun," the site 
of a Xllth Dynasty town built near the pyramid of 
King Usertsen (or Senusret) II at Illahun, at the mouth 
of the canal leading from the Nile valley into the oasis- 
province of the Fayyum. These Kahun flints, and 
others of probably the same period found by Mr. Seton- 
Karr at the very ancient flint works in the Wadi esh- 
Shekh, are of very coarse and poor workmanship as 
compared with the stone-knapping triumphs of the late 
Neolithic and early Chalcolithic periods. The delicacy 
of the art had all been lost. But the best flint knives 
of the early period— dating to just a little before the 
time of the 1st Dynasty, when flint-working had at- 
tained its apogee, and copper had just begun to be used 
—are undoubtedly the most remarkable stone weapons 
ever made in the world. The grace and utility of the 
form, the delicacy of the fluted chipping on the side, 
and the minute care with which the tiny serrations of 
the cutting edge, serrations so small that often they can 
hardly be seen with the naked eye, are made, can cer- 
tainly not be parallelled elsewhere. The art of flint- 
knapping reached its zenith in Ancient Egypt. The 
specimen illustrated has a handle covered with gold 
decorated with incised designs representing animals. 

The prehistoric Egyptians may also fairly be said 
to have attained greater perfection than other peoples 
in the Neolithic stage of culture, in other arts besides 
the making of stone tools and weapons. Their pottery 
is of remarkable perfection. Now that the sites of the 


Egyptian prehistoric settlements have been so thor- 
oughly explored by competent archaeologists (and, un- 
happily, as thoroughly pillaged by incompetent natives), 
this prehistoric Egyptian pottery has become extremely 
well known. In fact, it is so common that good speci- 
mens may be bought anywhere in Egypt for a few 
piastres. Most museums possess sets of this pottery, 
of which great quantities have been brought back from 
Egypt by Prof. Petrie and other explorers. It is of 
very great interest, artistically as well as historically. 
The potter's wheel was not yet invented, and all the 
vases, even those of the most perfect shape, were built 
up by hand. The perfection of form attained without 
the aid of the wheel is truly marvellous. 

The commonest type of this pottery is a red polished 
ware vase with black top, due to its having been baked 
mouth downward in a fire, the ashes of which, according 
to Prof. Petrie, deoxidized the haematite banishing, and 
so turned the red colour to black. " In good examples 
the haematite has not only been reduced to black mag- 
netic oxide, but the black hg,s the highest polish, as seen 
on fine Greek vases. This is probably due to the forma- 
tion of carbonyl gas in the smothered fire. This gas acts 
as a solvent of magnetic oxide, and hence allows it to 
assume a new surface, like the glassy surface of some 
marbles subjected to solution in water." This black and 
red ware appears to be the most ancient prehistoric 
Egyptian pottery known. Later in date are a red ware 
and a black ware with rude geometrical incised designs, 
imitating basketwork, and with the incised lines filled 



in with white. Later again is a buff ware, either plain 
or decorated with wavy lines, concentric circles, and 
elaborate drawings of boats sailing on the Nile, os- 
triches, fish, men and women, and so on. These designs 
are in deep red. "With this elaborate pottery the Neo- 
lithic ceramic art of Egypt reached its highest point; 
in the succeeding 
period (the begin- 
ning of the historic 
age) there was a de- 
cline in workman- 
ship, exhibiting 
clumsy forms and 
bad colour, and it is 
not until the time of 
the IVth Dynasty 
that good pottery (a 
fine polished red) is 
once more found. 
Meanwhile the in- 
vention of glazed pot- 


tery, which was un- 

_ # Predynastic period, before 4000 b. c. Photograph re- 

KnOWn tO the PrehiS- produced from M. de Morgan's Recherches, vol. i. 

toric Egyptians, had been made (before the beginning 
of the 1st Dynasty). The unglazed ware of the first three 
dynasties was bad, but the new invention of light blue 
glazed faience (not porcelain properly so called) seems 
to have made great progress, and we possess fine speci- 
mens at the beginning of the 1st Dynasty. The pre- 
historic Egyptians were also proficient in other arts. 


They carved ivory and they worked gold, which is 
known to have been almost the first metal worked by 
man; certainly in Egypt it was utilized for ornament 
even before copper was used for work. We may refer 
to the illustration of a flint knife with gold handle, 
already given. 1 

The date of the actual introduction of copper for 
tools and weapons into Egypt is uncertain, but it seems 
probable that copper was occasionally used at a very 
early period. Copper weapons have been found in pre- 
dynastic graves beside the finest buff pottery with elab- 
orate red designs, so that we may say that when the 
flint-working and pottery of the Neolithic Egyptians 
had reached its zenith, the use of copper was already 
known, and copper weapons were occasionally em- 
ployed. We can thus speak of the " Chalcolithic " 
period in Egypt as having already begun at that time, 
no doubt several centuries before the beginning of the 
historical or dynastic age. Strictly speaking, the Egyp- 
tians remained in the " Chalcolithic " period till the 
end of the Xllth Dynasty, but in practice it is best 
to speak of this period, when the word is used, as ex- 
tending from the time of the finest flint weapons and 
pottery of the prehistoric age (when the " Neolithic " 
period may be said to close) till about the lid or Hid 
Dynasty. By that time the " Bronze," or, rather, 
" Copper," Age of Egypt had well begun, and already 
stone was not in common use. 

The prehistoric pottery is of the greatest value to 

1 See illustration. 


the archaeologist, for with its help some idea may be 
obtained of the succession of periods within the late 
Neolithic-Chalcolithic Age. The enormous number of 
prehistoric graves which have been examined enables 
us to make an exhaustive comparison of the different 
kinds of pottery found in them, so that we can arrange 
them in order according to pottery they contained. 
By this means we obtain an idea of the development 
of different types of pottery, and the sequence of the 
types. Thus it is that we can say with some degree of 
confidence that the black and red ware is the most 
ancient form, and that the buff with red designs is one 
of the latest forms of prehistoric pottery. Other ob- 
jects found in the graves can be classified as they occur 
with different pottery types. 

With the help of the pottery we can thus gain a 
more or less reliable conspectus of the development of 
the late " Neolithic " culture of Egypt. This system 
of " sequence-dating " was introduced by Prof. Petrie, 
and is certainly very useful. It must not, however, be 
pressed too far or be regarded as an iron-bound system, 
with which all subsequent discoveries must be made 
to fit in by force. It is not to be supposed that all 
prehistoric pottery developed its series of types in an 
absolutely orderly manner without deviations or throws- 
back. The work of man's hands is variable and eccen- 
tric, and does not develop or evolve in an undeviating 
course as the work of nature does. It is a mistake, 
very often made by anthropologists and archaeologists, 
who forget this elementary fact, to assume " curves of 


development," and so forth, or semi-savage culture, on 
absolutely even and regular lines. Human culture has 
not developed either evenly or regularly, as a matter 
of fact. Therefore we cannot always be sure that, 
because the Egyptian black and red pottery does not 
occur in graves with buff and red, it is for this reason 
absolutely earlier in date than the latter. Some of the 
development-sequences may in reality be contemporary 
with others instead of earlier, and allowance must al- 
ways be made for aberrations and reversions to earlier 
types. j0» 

This caveat having been entered, however, we may 
provisionally accept Prof. Petrie's system of sequence- 
dating as giving the best classification of the prehistoric 
antiquities according to development. So it may fairly 
be said that, as far as tve knoiv, the black and red pot- 
tery (" sequence-date 30—") is the most ancient Neo- 
lithic Egyptian ware known; that the buff and red did 
not begin to be used till about " sequence-date 45; " 
that bone and ivory carvings were commonest in the 
earlier period (" sequence-d&tes 30-50 "); that copper 
was almost unknown till " sequence-date 50," and so 
on. The arbitrary numbers used range from 30 to 80, 
in order to allow for possible earlier and later additions, 
which may be rendered necessary by the progress of 
discovery. The numbers are of course as purely arbi- 
trary and relative as those of the different thermomet- 
rical systems, but they afford a convenient system of 
arrangement. The products of the prehistoric Egyp- 
tians are, so to speak, distributed on a conventional 


plan over a scale numbered from 30 to 80, 30 represent- 
ing the beginning and 80 the close of the term, so far 
as its close has as yet been ascertained. It is probable 
that " sequence-date 80 " more or less accurately marks 
the beginning of the dynastic or historical period. 

This hypothetically chronological classification is, as 
has been said, due to Prof. Petrie, and has been adopted 
by Mr. Randall-Maclver and other students of prehis- 
toric Egypt in their work. 1 To Prof. Petrie then is due 
the credit of systematizing the study of Egyptian pre- 
historic antiquities; but the further credit of having 
discovered these antiquities themselves and settled their 
date belongs not to him but to the distinguished French 
archaeologist, M. J. de Morgan, who was for several 
years director of the museum at Giza, and is now chief 
of the French archaeological delegation in Persia, which 
has made of late years so many important discoveries. 
The proof of the prehistoric date of this class of antiqui- 
ties was given, not by Prof. Petrie after his excavations 
at Dendera in 1897-8, but by M. de Morgan in his 
volume, Eecherciies sur les Ongines de VEgypte: VAge 
de la Pierre et les Metaux, published in 1895 - 6. In 
this book the true chronological position of the pre- 
historic antiquities was pointed out, and the existence 
of an Egyptian Stone Age finally decided. M. de Mor- 
gan's work was based on careful study of the results 
of excavations carried on for several years by the Egyp- 
tian government in various parts of Egypt, in the 
course of which a large number of cemeteries of the 

1 El Amra and Abydos, Egypt Exploration Fund, 1902. 


primitive type had been discovered. It was soon evi- 
dent to M. de Morgan that these primitive graves, with 
their unusual pottery and flint implements, could be 
nothing less than the tombs of the prehistoric Egyp- 
tians, the Egyptians of the Stone Age. 

Objects of the prehistoric period had been known 
to the museums for many years previously, but owing 
to the uncertainty of their provenance and the absence 
of knowledge of the existence of the primitive ceme- 
teries, no scientific conclusions had been arrived at with 
regard to them; and it was not till the publication of 
M. de Morgan's book that they were recognized and 
classified as prehistoric. The necropoles investigated 
by M. de Morgan and his assistants extended from 
Kawamil in the north, about twenty miles north of 
Abydos, to Edfu in the south. The chief cemeteries 
between these two points were those of Bet Allam, 
Saghel el-Baglieh, el-'Amra, Nakada, Tukh, and Gebe- 
len. All the burials were of simple type, analogous to 
those of the Neolithic races in the rest of the world. 
In a shallow, oval grave, excavated often but a few 
inches below the surface of the soil, lay the body, 
cramped up with the knees to the chin, sometimes in 
a rough box of pottery, more often with only a mat to 
cover it. Ready to the hand of the dead man were his 
flint weapons and tools, and the usual red and black, 
or buff and red, pots lay beside him; originally, no 
doubt, they had been filled with the funeral meats, to 
sustain the ghost in the next world. Occasionally a 
simple copper weapon was found. With the body were 


also buried slate palettes for grinding the green eye- 
paint which the Egyptians loved even at this early 
period. These are often carved to suggest the forms 
of animals, such as birds, bats, tortoises, goats, etc.; 
on others are fantastic creatures with two heads. 
Combs of bone, too, are found, ornamented in a simi- 
lar way with birds' or goats' heads, often double. And 
most interesting of all are the small bone and ivory 
figures of men and women which are also found. These 
usually have little blue beads for eyes, and are of the 
quaintest and nai'vest appearance conceivable. Here 
we have an elderly man with a long pointed beard, 
there two women with inane smiles upon their counte- 
nances, here another woman, of better work this time, 
with a child slung across her shoulder. This figure, 
which is in the British Museum, must be very late, as 
prehistoric Egyptian antiquities go. It is almost as 
good in style as the early 1st Dynasty objects. Such 
were the objects which the simple piety of the early 
Egyptian prompted him to bury with the bodies of his 
dead, in order that they might find solace and content- 
ment in the other world. 

All the prehistoric cemeteries are of this type, with 
the graves pressed closely together, so that they often 
impinge upon one another. The nearness of the graves 
to the surface is due to the exposed positions, at the 
entrances to wadis, in which the primitive cemeteries 
are usually found. The result is that they are always 
swept by the winds, which prevent the desert sand from 
Accumulating over them, and so have preserved the 


original level of the ground. From their proximity to 
the surface they are often found disturbed, more often 
by the agency of jackals than that of man. 

Contemporaneously with M. de Morgan's explora- 
tions, Prof. Flinders Petrie and Mr. J. Quibell had, 
in the winter of 1894 - 5, excavated in the districts of 
Tukh and Nakada, on the west bank of the Nile opposite 
Koptos, a series of extensive cemeteries of the prim- 
itive type, from which they obtained a large number 
of antiquities, published in their volume Nagada and 
Ballas. The plates giving representations of the an- 
tiquities found were of the highest interest, but the 
scientific value of the letter-press is vitiated by the 
fact that the true historical position of the antiquities 
was not perceived by their discoverers, who came to the 
conclusion that these remains were those of a " New 
Race " of Libyan invaders. This race, they supposed, 
had entered Egypt after the close of the flourishing 
period of the " Old Kingdom " at the end of the Vlth 
Dynasty, and had occupied part of the Nile valley from 
that time till the period of the Xth Dynasty. 

This conclusion was proved erroneous by M. de 
Morgan almost as soon as made, and the French archae- 
ologist's identification of the primitive remains as pre- 
dynastic was at once generally accepted. It was obvi- 
ous that a hypothesis of the settlement of a stone-using 
barbaric race in the midst of Egypt at so late a date 
as the period immediately preceding the Xllth Dynasty, 
a race which mixed in no way with the native Egyp- 
tians themselves, and left no trace of their influence upon 


the later Egyptians, was one which demanded greater 
faith than the simple explanation of M. de Morgan. 

The error of the British explorers was at once ad- 
mitted by Mr. Quibell, in his volume on the excavations 
of 1897 at el-Kab, published in 1898. 1 Mr. Quibell at 
once found full and adequate confirmation of M. de 
Morgan's discovery in his diggings at el-Kab. Prof. 
Petrie ' admitted the correctness of M. de Morgan's 
views in the preface to his volume Dio spoils Parva, 
published three years later in 1901. 2 The preface to 
the first volume of M. de Morgan's book contained 
a generous recognition of the method and general 
accuracy of Prof. Petrie 's excavations, which con- 
trasted favourably, according to M. de Morgan, with 
the excavations of others, generally carried on without 
scientific control, and with the sole aim of obtaining 
antiquities or literary texts. 3 That M. de Morgan's own 
work was carried out as scientifically and as carefully is 
evident from the fact that his conclusions as to the 
chronological position of the prehistoric antiquities 
have been shown to be correct. To describe M. de 
Morgan's discovery as a ^ happy guess," as has been 
done, is therefore beside the mark. 

Another most important British excavation was that 
carried on by Messrs. Randall-Maclver and Wilkin at 
el-'Amra. The imposing lion-headed promontory of 
el-'Amra stands out into the plain on the west bank 

1 El-Kab. Egyptian Research Account, 1897, p. 11. 

2 Diospolis Parva. Egypt Exploration Fund, 1901, p. 2. 

3 Recherches : Age de la Pierre, p. xiii. 


of the Nile about five miles south of Abydos. At the 
foot of this hill M. de Morgan found a very extensive 
prehistoric necropolis, which he examined, but did not 
excavate to any great extent, and the work of thor- 
oughly excavating it was performed by Messrs. Ran- 
dall-Madver and Wilkin for the Egypt Exploration 
Fund. The results have thrown very great light upon 
the prehistoric culture of Egypt, and burials of all pre- 
historic types, some of them previously unobserved, 
were found. Among the most interesting are burials 
in pots, which have also been found by Mr. Garstang 
in a predynastic necropolis at Ragagna, north of Aby- 
dos. One of the more remarkable observations made at 
el-'Amra was the progressive development of the tombs 
from the simplest pot-burial to a small brick chamber, 
the embryo of the brick tombs of the 1st Dynasty. 
Among the objects recovered from this site may be 
mentioned a pottery model of oxen, a box in the shape 
of a model hut, and a slate " palette " with what is 
perhaps the oldest Egyptian hieroglyph known, a rep- 
resentation of the fetish-sign of the god Min, in relief. 
All these are preserved in the British Museum. The 
skulls of the bodies found were carefully preserved for 
craniometric examination. 

In 1901 an extensive prehistoric cemetery was being 
excavated by Messrs. Reisner and Lythgoe at Nag' 
ed-Der, opposite Girga, and at el-Ahaiwa, further north, 
another prehistoric necropolis has been excavated by 
these gentlemen, working for the University of Cali- 
fornia. The cemetery of Nag' ed-Der is of the usual 



prehistoric type, with its multitudes of small oval 
graves, excavated just a little way below the surface. 
Graves of this kind are the most primitive of all. Those 
at el-'Amra are usually more developed, often, as has 
been noted, rising to the height of regular brick tombs. 
They are evidently later, nearer to the time of the 1st 


Dynasty. The position of the Nag' ed-Der cemetery 
is also characteristic. It lies on the usual low ridge 
at the entrance to a desert wadi, which is itself one of 
the most picturesque in this part of Egypt, with its 
chaos of great boulders and fallen rocks. An illustra- 
tion of the camp of Mr. Reisner's expedition at Nag' 
ed-Der is given above. The excavations of the Uni- 


versity of California are carried out with the greatest 
possible care and are financed with the greatest possible 
liberality. Mr. Reisner has therefore been able to keep 
an absolutely complete photographic record of every- 
thing, even down to the successive stages in the open- 
ing of a tomb, which will be of the greatest use to sci- 
ence when published. 

For a detailed study of the antiquities of the pre- 
historic period the publications of Prof. Petrie, Mr. 
Quibell, and Mr. Randall-Madver are more useful than 
that of M. de Morgan, who does not give enough details. 
Every atom of evidence is given in the publications of 
the British explorers, whereas it is a characteristic of 
French work to give brilliant conclusions, beautifully 
illustrated, without much of the evidence on which the 
conclusions are based. This kind of work does not 
appeal to the Anglo-Saxon mind, which takes nothing 
on trust, even from the most renowned experts, and 
always wants to know the why and wherefore. The 
complete publication of evidence which marks the Brit- 
ish work will no doubt be met with, if possible in even 
more complete detail, in the American work of Messrs. 
Reisner, Lythgoe, and Mace (the last-named is an Eng- 
lishman) for the University of California, when pub- 
lished. The question of speedy versus delayed publi- 
cation is a very vexing one. Prof. Petrie prefers to 
publish as speedily as possible; six months after the 
season's work in Egypt is done, the full publication 
with photographs of everything appears. Mr. Reisner 
and the French explorers prefer to publish nothing until 


they have exhaustively studied the whole of the evi- 
dence, and can extract nothing more from it. This 
would be admirable if the French published their dis- 
coveries fully, but they do not. Even M. de Morgan has 
not approached the fulness of detail which characterizes 
British work and which will characterize Mr. Reisner's 
publication when it appears. The only drawback to 
this method is that general interest in the particular 
excavations described tends to pass away before the 
full description appears. 

Prof. Petrie has explored other prehistoric sites at 
Abadiya, and Mr. Quibell at el-Kab. M. de Morgan and 
his assistants have examined a large number of sites, 
ranging from the Delta to el-Kab. Further research 
has shown that some of the sites identified by M. de 
Morgan as prehistoric are in reality of much later date, 
for example, Kahun, where the late flints of XHth 
Dynasty date were found. He notes that " large num- 
bers of Neolithic flint weapons are found in the desert 
on the borders of the Fayyum, and at Helwan, south 
of Cairo," and that all the important necropoles and 
kitchen-middens of the predynastic people are to be 
found in the districts of Abydos and Thebes, from 
el-Kawamil in the North to el-Kab in the South. It is 
of course too soon to assert with confidence that there 
are no prehistoric remains in any other part of Egypt, 
especially in the long tract between the Fayyum and 
the district of Abydos, but up to the present time none 
have been found in this region. 

This geographical distribution of the prehistoric 


remains fits in curiously with the ancient legend con- 
cerning the origin of the ancestors of the Egyptians in 
Upper Egypt, and supports the much discussed theory 
that they came originally to the Nile valley from the 
shores of the Red Sea by way of the Wadi Hammamat, 
which debouches on to the Nile in the vicinity of 
Koptos and Kus, opposite Ballas and Tukk. The sup- 
position seems a very probable one, and it may well be 
that the earliest Egyptians entered the valley of the Nile 
by the route suggested and then spread northwards 
and southwards in the valley. The fact that their re- 
mains are not found north of el-Kawamil nor south of 
el-Kab might perhaps be explained by the supposition 
that, when they had extended thus far north and south 
from their original place of arrival, they passed from 
the primitive Neolithic condition to the more highly 
developed copper-using culture of the period which 
immediately preceded the establishment of the mon- 
archy. The Neolithic weapons of the Fayyum and Hel- 
wan would then be the remains of a different people, 
which inhabited the Delta and Middle Egypt in very 
early times. This people may have been of Mediter- 
ranean stock, akin to the primitive inhabitants of Pales- 
tine, Greece, Italy, and Spain; and they no doubt were 
identical with the inhabitants of Lower Egypt who 
were overthrown and conquered by Kha-sekhem and the 
other Southern founders of the monarchy (who belonged 
to the race which had come from the Red Sea by the 
Wadi Hammamat), and so were the ancestors of the 
later natives of Lower Egypt. Whether the Southern- 


ers, whose primitive remains we find from el-Kawamil 
to el-Kab, were of the same race as the Northerners 
whom they conquered, cannot be decided. The skull- 
form of the Southerners agrees with that of the Medi- 
terranean races. But we have no necropoles of the 
Northerners to tell us much of their peculiarities. We 
have nothing but their flint arrowheads. 

But it should be observed that, in spite of the pres- 
ent absence of all primitive remains (whether mere 
flints, or actual graves with bodies and relics) of the 
primeval population between the Fayyum and el-Kawa- 
mil, there is no proof that the primitive race of Upper 
Egypt was not coterminous and identical with that of 
the lower country. It might therefore be urged that 
the whole Neolithic population was " Mediterranean " 
by its skull-form and body-structure, and specifically 
" Nilotic " (indigenous Egyptian) in its culture-type. 
This is quite possible, but we have again to account for 
the legends of distant origin on the Red Sea coast, the 
probability that one element of the Egyptian popula- 
tion was of extraneous origin and came from the east 
into the Nile valley near Koptos, and finally the his- 
torical fact of an advance of the early dynastic Egyp- 
tians from the South to the conquest of the North. The 
latter fact might of course be explained as a civil war 
analogous to that between Thebes and Asyut in the 
time of the IXth Dynasty, but against this explanation 
is to be set the fact that the contemporary momiments 
of the Southerners exhibit the men of the North as of 
foreign and non-Egyptian ethnic type, resembling Lib- 


yans. It is possible that they were akin to the Libyans; 
and this would square very well with the first theory, 
but it may also be made to fit in with a development 
of the second, which has been generally accepted. 

According to this view, the whole primitive Neo- 
lithic population of North and South was Nilotic, indig- 
enous in origin, and akin to the " Mediterraneans " of 
Prof. Sergi and the other ethnologists. It was not 
this population, the stone-users whose necropoles have 
been found by Messrs. de Morgan, Petrie, and Maclver, 
that entered the Nile valley by the Wadi Hammamat. 
This was another race of different ethnic origin, which 
came from the Red Sea toward the end of the Neolithic 
period, and, being of higher civilization than the native 
Nilotes, assumed the lordship over them, gave a great 
impetus to the development of their culture, and started 
at once the institution of monarchy, the knowledge of 
letters, and the use of metals. The chiefs of this supe- 
rior tribe founded the monarchy, conquered the North, 
unified the kingdom, and began Egyptian history. 
From many indications it would seem probable that 
these conquerors were of Babylonian origin, or that the 
culture they brought with them (possibly* from Arabia) 
was ultimately of Babylonian origin. They themselves 
would seem to have been Semites, or rather proto- 
Semites, who came from Arabia to Africa by way of 
the straits of Bab el-Mandeb, and proceeded up the 
coast to about the neighbourhood of Kuser, whence the 
Wadi Hammamat offered them an open road to the 
valley of the Nile. By this route they may have entered 


Egypt, bringing with them a civilization, which, like 
that of the other Semites, had been profoundly influ- 
enced and modified by that of the Sumerian inhabitants 
of Babylonia. This Semitic-Sumerian culture, mingling 
with that of the Nilotes themselves, produced the civ- 
ilization of Ancient Egypt as we know it. 

This is a very plausible hypothesis, and has a great 
deal of evidence in its favour. It seems certain that 
in the early dynastic period two races lived in Egypt, 
which differed considerably in type, and also, appar- 
ently, in burial customs. The later Egyptians always 
buried the dead lying on their backs, extended at full 
length. During the period of the Middle Kingdom 
(Xlth-XIIIth Dynasties) the head was usually turned 
over on to the left side, in order that the dead man 
might look through the two great eyes painted on that 
side of the coffin. Afterward the rigidly extended posi- 
tion was always adopted. The Neolithic Egyptians, 
however, buried the dead lying wholly on the left side 
and in a contracted position, with the knees drawn up 
to the chin. The bodies were not embalmed, and the 
extended position and mummification were never used. 
Under the IVth Dynasty we find in the necropolis of 
Medum (north of the Payyum) the two positions used 
simultaneously, and the extended bodies are mummified. 
The contracted bodies are skeletons, as in the case of 
most of the predynastic bodies. When these are found 
with flesh, skin, and hair intact, their preservation is 
due to the dryness of the soil and the preservative salts 
it contains, not to intentional embalming, which was 


evidently introduced by those who employed the ex- 
tended position in burial. The contracted position is 
found as late as the Vth Dynasty at Dashasha, south 
of the Fayyum, but after that date it is no longer 

The conclusion is obvious that the contracted posi- 
tion without mummification, which the Neolithic people 
used, was supplanted in the early dynastic period by 
the extended position with mummification, and by the 
time of the Vlth Dynasty it was entirely superseded. 
This points to the supersession of the burial customs 
of the indigenous Neolithic race by those of another 
race which conquered and dominated the indigenes. 
And, since the extended burials of the IVth Dynasty 
are evidently those of the higher nobles, while the con- 
tracted ones are those of inferior people, it is probable 
that the customs of extended burial and embalming 
were introduced by a foreign race which founded the 
Egyptian monarchical state, with its hierarchy of nobles 
and officials, and in fact started Egyptian civilization 
on its way. The conquerors of the North were thus 
not the descendants of the Neolithic people of the South, 
but their conquerors; in fact, they dominated the indi- 
genes both of North and South, who will then appear 
(since we find the custom of contracted burial in the 
North at Dashasha and Medum) to have originally be- 
longed to the same race. 

The conquering race is that which is supposed to 
have been of Semitic or proto-Semitic origin, and to 
have brought elements of Sumerian culture to savage 


Egypt. The reasons advanced for this supposition are 
the following:— 

(1) Just as the Egyptian race was evidently com- 
pounded of two elements, of conquered " Mediterrane- 
ans " and conquering x, so the Egyptian language is 
evidently compounded of two elements, the one Nilotic, 
perhaps related in some degree to the Berber dialects 
of North Africa, the other not x, but evidently Semitic. 

(2) Certain elements of the early dynastic civiliza- 
tion, which do not appear in that of the earlier pre- 
dynastic period, resemble well-known elements of the 
civilization of Babylonia. We may instance the use of 
the cylinder-seal, which died out in Egypt in the time 
of the XVIIIth Dynasty, but was always used in Baby- 
lonia from the earliest to the latest times. The early 
Egyptian mace-head is of exactly the same type as the 
early Babylonian one. In the British Museum is an 
Egyptian mace-head of red breccia, which is identical 
in shape and size with one from Babylonia (also in the 
museum) bearing the name of Shargani-shar-ali (i. e. 
Sargon, King of Agade), one of the earliest Chaldaean 
monarchs, w T ho must have lived about the same time as 
the Egyptian kings of the lid— Hid Dynasties, to which 
period the Egyptian mace-head may also be approx- 
imately assigned. The Egyptian art of the earliest 
dynasties bears again a remarkable resemblance to that 
of early Babylonia. It is not till the time of the lid 
Dynasty that Egyptian art begins to take upon itself 
the regular form which we know so well, and not till 
that of the IVth that this form was finally crystallized. 


Under the 1st Dynasty we find the figure of man or, 
to take other instances, that of a lion, or a hawk, or a 
snake, often treated in a style very different from that 
in which we are accustomed to see a man, a lion, a 
hawk, or a snake depicted in works of the later period. 
And the striking thing is that these early representa- 
tions, which differ so much from what we find in later 
Egyptian art, curiously resemble the works of early 
Babylonian art, of the time of the patesis of Shirpurla 
or the Kings Shargani-shar-ali and Naram-Sin. One of 
the best known relics of the early art of Babylonia is 
the famous " Stele of Vultures " now in Paris. On this 
we see the enemies of Eannadu, one of the early rulers 
of Shirpurla, cast out to be devoured by the vultures. 
On an Egyptian relief of slate, evidently originally dedi- 
cated in a temple as a record of some historical event, 
and dating from the beginning of the 1st Dynasty (prac- 
tically contemporary, according to our latest knowledge, 
with Eannadu) , we have an almost exactly similar scene 
of captives being cast out into the desert, and devoured 
by lions and vultures. The two reliefs are curiously 
alike in their clumsy, na'ive style of art. A further 
point is that the official represented on the stele, who 
appears to be thrusting one of the bound captives out 
to die, wears a long fringed garment of Babylonish cut, 
quite different from the clothes of the later Egyptians. 
(3) There are evidently two distinct and different 
main strata in the fabric of Egyptian religion. On the 
one hand we find a mass of myth and religious belief 
of very primitive, almost savage, cast, combining a 


worship of the actual dead in their tombs— which were 
supposed to communicate and thus form a veritable 
" underworld," or, rather, " under-Egypt "—with ven- 
eration of magic animals, such as jackals, cats, hawks, 
and crocodiles. On the other hand, we have a sun and 
sky worship of a more elevated nature, which does not 
seem to have amalgamated with the earlier fetishism 
and corpse-worship until a comparatively late period. 
The main seats of the sun-worship were at Heliopolis 
in the Delta and at Edfu in Upper Egypt. Heliopolis 
seems always to have been a centre of light and leading 
in Egypt, and it is, as is well known, the On of the 
Bible, at whose university the Jewish lawgiver Moses 
is related to have been educated " in all the wisdom of 
the Egyptians." The philosophical theories of the 
priests of the Sun-gods, Ra-Harmachis and Turn, at 
Heliopolis seem to have been the source from which 
sprang the monotheistic heresy of the Disk- Worship- 
pers (in the time of the XVHIth Dynasty), who, under 
the guidance of the reforming King Akhunaten, wor- 
shipped only the disk of the sun as the source of all 
life, the door in heaven, so to speak, through w T hich the 
hidden One Deity poured forth heat and light, the origin 
of life upon the earth. Very early in Egyptian history 
the Heliopolitans gained the upper hand, and the Ra- 
worship (under the Vth Dynasty, the apogee of the Old 
Kingdom) came to the front, and for the first time the 
kings took the afterwards time-honoured royal title of 
" Son of the Sun." It appears then as a more or less 
foreign importation into the Nile valley, and bears most 


. undoubtedly a Semitic impress. Its two chief seats 
were situated, the one, Heliopolis, in the North on the 
eastern edge of the Delta,— just where an early Semitic 
settlement from over the desert might be expected to 
be found,— the other, Edfu, in the Upper Egyptian terri- 
tory south of the Theba'id, Koptos, and the Wadi Ham- 
mamat, and close to the chief settlement of the earliest 
kings and the most ancient capital of Upper Egypt. 

(4) The custom of burying at full length was evi- 
dently introduced into Egypt by the second, or x race. 
The Neolithic Egyptians buried in the cramped position. 
The early Babylonians buried at full length, as far as 
we know. On the same " Stele of Vultures, " which has 
already been mentioned, we see the burying at full 
length of dead warriors. 1 There is no trace of any early 
burial in Babylonia in the cramped position. The tombs 
at Warka (Erech) with cramped bodies in pottery cof- 
fins are of very late date. A further point arises with 
regard to embalming. The Neolithic Egyptians did not 
embalm the dead. Usually their cramped bodies are 
found as skeletons. When they are mummified, it is 
merely owing to the preservative action of the salt in 
the soil, not to any process of embalming. The second, 
or x race, however, evidently introduced the custom 
of embalming as well as that of burial at full length 
and the use of coffins. The Neolithic Egyptian used no 
box or coffin, the nearest approach to this being a pot, 
which was inverted over the coiled up body. Usually 
only a mat was put over the body. Now it is evident 

1 See illustration. 

Portion of the " Stele of Vultures ' Found 

at Telloh 

Sculptured with a scene representing the burial of the dead 
after battle. From the photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 


that Babylonians and Assyrians, who buried the dead 
at full length in chests, had some knowledge of embalm- 
ing. An Assyrian king tells us how he buried his royal 
father: — 

" Within the grave, the secret place, 
In kingly oil, I gently laid him. 
The grave-stone marketh his resting-place. 
With mighty bronze I sealed its entrance, 
And I protected it with an incantation." 

The " kingly oil " was evidently used with the idea of 
preserving the body from decay. Salt also was used 
to preserve the dead, and Herodotus says that the Baby- 
lonians buried in honey, which was also used by the 
Egyptians. No doubt the Babylonian method was less 
perfect than the Egyptian, but the comparison is an 
interesting one, when taken in connection with the other 
points of resemblance mentioned above. 

We find, then, that an analysis of the Egyptian lan- 
guage reveals a Semitic element in it; that the early 
dynastic culture had certain characteristics which were 
unknown to the Neolithic Egyptians but are closely 
parallelled in early Babylonia; that there were two 
elements in the Egyptian religion, one of which seems 
to have originally belonged to the Neolithic people, 
while the other has a Semitic appearance; and that 
there were two sets of burial customs in early Egypt, 
one, that of the Neolithic people; the other evidently 
that of a conquering race, which eventually prevailed 
over the former; these later rites were analogous to 


those of the Babylonians and Assyrians, though differ- 
ing from them in points of detail. The conclusion is 
that the x or conquering race was Semitic and brought 
to Egypt the Semitic elements in the Egyptian religion 
and a culture originally derived from that of the Sume- 
rian inhabitants of Babylonia, the non-Semitic parent 
of all Semitic civilizations. 

The question now arises, how did this Semitic peo- 
ple reach Egypt? We have the choice of two points of 
entry : First, Heliopolis in the North, where the Semitic 
sun-worship took root, and, second, the Wadi Hamma- 
mat in the South, north of Edfu, the southern centre of 
sun-worship, and Hierakonpolis (Nekheb-Nekhen), the 
capital of the Upper Egyptian kingdom which existed 
before the foundation of the monarchy. The legends 
which seem to bring the ancestors of the Egyptians 
from the Red Sea coast have already been mentioned. 
They are closely connected with the worship of the 
Sky and Sun god Horus of Edfu. Hathor, his nurse, 
the " House of Horus," r the centre of whose worship 
was at Dendera, immediately opposite the mouth of the 
Wadi Hammamat, was said to have come from Ta-neter, 
" The Holy Land," i. e. Abyssinia or the Red Sea coast, 
with the company or pant of the gods. Now the Egyp- 
tians always seem to have had some idea that they were 
connected racially with the inhabitants of the Land of 
Punt or Puenet, the modern Abyssinia and Somaliland. 
In the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty they depicted the 
inhabitants of Punt as greatly resembling themselves 
in form, feature, and dress, and as wearing the little 


turned-up beard which was worn by the Egyptians of 
the earliest times, but even as early as the IVth Dy- 
nasty was reserved for the gods. Further, the word 
Punt is always written without the hieroglyph deter- 
minative of a foreign country, thus showing that the 
Egyptians did not regard the Punites as foreigners. 
This certainly looks as if the Punites were a portion of 
the great migration from Arabia, left behind on the 
African shore when the rest of the wandering people 
pressed on northwards to the Wadi Hammamat and 
the Nile. It may be that the modern Gallas and Abys- 
sinians are descendants of these Punites. 

Now the Sky-god of Edfu is in legend a conquering 
hero who advances down the Nile valley, with his 
Mesniu, or " Smiths," to overthrow the people of the 
North, whom he defeats in a great battle near Dendera. 
This may be a reminiscence of the first fights of the 
invaders with the Neolithic inhabitants. The other 
form of Horus, " Horus, son of Isis," has also a body 
of retainers, the Shernsu-Heru, or " Followers of Ho- 
rus," who are spoken of in late texts as the rulers of 
Egypt before the monarchy. They evidently corre- 
spond to the dynasties of Manes, Ne/cue?, or " Ghosts," 
of Manetho, and are probably intended for the early 
kings of Hierakonpolis. 

The mention of the Followers of Horus as " Smiths" 
is very interesting, for it would appear to show that 
the Semitic conquerors were notable as metal-users, 
that, in fact, their conquest was that old story in the 
dawn of the world's history, the utter overthrow and 


subjection of the stone-users by the metal-users, the 
primeval tragedy of the supersession of flint by copper. 
This may be, but if the "Smiths" were the Semitic con- 
querors who founded the kingdom, it would appear that 
the use of copper was known in Egypt to some extent 
before their arrival, for we find it in the graves of the 
late Neolithic Egyptians, very sparsely from "sequence- 
date 30 " to " 45," but afterwards more commonly. It 
was evidently becoming known. The supposition, how- 
ever, that the " Smiths " were the Semitic conquerors, 
and that they won their way by the aid of their superior 
weapons of metal, may be provisionally accepted. 

In favour of the view which would bring the con- 
querors by way of the Wadi Hammamat, an interesting 
discovery may be quoted. Immediately opposite Den- 
dera, where, according to the legend, the battle between 
the Mesniu and the aborigines took place, lies Koptos, 
at the mouth of the Wadi Hammamat. Here, in 1894, 
underneath the pavement of the ancient temple, Prof. 
Petrie found remains which he then diagnosed as be- 
longing to the most ancient epoch of Egyptian history. 
Among them were some extremely archaic statues of 
the god Min, on which were curious scratched drawings 
of bears, crioceras-shells, elephants walking over hills, 
etc., of the most primitive description. With them were 
lions' heads and birds of a style then unknown, but 
which we now know to belong to the period of the 
beginning of the 1st Dynasty. But the statues of Min 
are older. The crioceras-shells belong to the Red Sea. 
Are we to see in these statues the holy images of the 


conquerors from the Red Sea who reached the Nile val- 
ley by way of the Wadi Hammamat, and set up the 
first memorials of their presence at Koptos? It may 
be so, or the Min statues may be older than the con- 
querors, and belong to the Neolithic race, since Min 
and his fetish (which we find on the slate palette from 
el-'Amra, already mentioned) seem to belong to the 
indigenous Nilotes. In any case we have in these 
statues, two of which are in the Ashmolean Museum 
at Oxford, probably the most ancient cult-images in the 

This theory, which would make all the Neolithic 
inhabitants of Egypt one people, who were conquered 
by a Semitic race, bringing a culture of Sumerian origin 
to Egypt by way of the Wadi Hammamat, is that gen- 
erally accepted at the present time. It may, however, 
eventually prove necessary to modify it. For reasons 
given above, it may well be that the Neolithic popu- 
lation was itself not indigenous, and that it reached the 
Nile valley by way of the Wadi Hammamat, spreading 
north and south from the mouth of the wadi. It mav 
also be considered probable that a Semitic wave invaded 
Egypt by way of the Isthmus of Suez, where the early 
sun-cultus of Heliopolis probably marks a primeval 
Semitic settlement. In that case it would seem that 
the Mesniu or " Smiths," who introduced the use of 
metal, would have to be referred to the originally Neo- 
lithic pre-Semitic people, who certainly were acquainted 
with the use of copper, though not to any great extent. 
But this is not a necessary supposition. 'The Mesniu 


are closely connected with the Sky-god Horus, who was 
possibly of Semitic origin, and another Semitic wave, 
quite distinct from that which entered Egypt by way 
of the Isthmus, may very well also have reached Egypt 
by the Wadi Hammamat, or, equally possibly, from the 
far south, coming down to the Nile from the Abyssinian 
mountains. The legend of the coming of Hathor from 
Ta-neter may refer to some such wandering, and we 
know that the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom communi- 
cated with the Land of Punt, not by way of the Red 
Sea coast as Hatshepsut did, but by way of the Upper 
Nile. This would tally well with the march of the 
Mesniu northwards from Edfu to their battle with the 
forces of Set at Dendera. 

In any case, at the dawn of connected Egyptian his- 
tory, we find two main centres of civilization in Egypt, 
Heliopolis and Buto in the Delta in the North, and 
Edfu and Hierakonpolis in the South. Here were estab- 
lished at the beginning of the Chalcolithic stage of cul- 
ture, we may say, two kingdoms, of Lower and Upper 
Egypt, which were eventually united by the superior 
arms of the kings of Upper Egypt, who imposed their 
rule upon the North but at the same time removed their 
capital thither. The dualism of Buto and Hierakonpolis 
really lasted throughout Egyptian history. The king 
was always called " Lord of the Two Lands," and wore 
the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt; the snakes 
of Buto and Nekhebet (the goddess of Nekheb, opposite 
Nekhen or Hierakonpolis) always typified the united 
kingdom. This dualism of course often led to actual 


division and reversion to the predynastic order of 
things, as, for instance, in the time of the XXIst 

It might well seem that both the impulses to culture 
development in the North and South came from Semitic 
inspiration, and that it was to the Semitic invaders in 
North and South that the founding of the two kingdoms 
was due. This may be true to some extent, but it is at 
the same time very probable that the first development 
of political culture at Hierakonpolis was really of pre- 
Semitic origin. The kingdom of Buto, since its capital 
is situated so near to the seacoast, may have owed its 
origin to oversea Mediterranean connections. There is 
much in the political constitution of later Egypt which 
seems to have been of indigenous and pre-Semitic 
origin. Especially does this seem to be so in the case 
of the division and organization of the country into 
nomes. It is obvious that so soon as agriculture began 
to be practised on a large scale, boundaries would be 
formed, and in the unique conditions of Egypt, where 
all boundaries disappear beneath the inundation every 
year, it is evident that the fixing of division-lines as 
permanently as possible by means of landmarks was 
early essayed. We can therefore with confidence as- 
sign the formation of the nomes to very early times. 
Now the names of the nomes and the symbols or 
emblems by which they were distinguished are of very 
great interest in this connection. They are nearly all 
figures of the magic animals of the primitive religion, 
and fetish-emblems of the older deities. The names are, 


in fact, those of the territories of the Neolithic Egyp- 
tian tribes, and their emblems are those of the protect- 
ing tribal demons. The political divisions of the coun- 
try seem, then, to be of extremely ancient origin, and 
if the nomes go back to a time before the Semitic in- 
vasions, so may also the kingdoms of the South and 

Of these predynastic kingdoms we know very little, 
except from legendary sources. The Northerners who 
were conquered by Aha, Narmer, and Khasekhemui do 
not look very much like Egyptians, but rather resemble 
Semites or Lib vans. On the " Stele of Palermo," a 
chronicle of early kings inscribed in the period of the 
Vth Dynasty, we have a list of early kings of the 
North, — Seka, Desau, Tiu, Tesh, Nihab, Uatjantj, 
Mekhe. The names are primitive in form. We know 
nothing more about them. Last year Mr. C. T. Currelly 
attempted to excavate at Buto, in order to find traces 
of the predynastic kingdom, but owing to the infiltra- 
tion of water his efforts were unsuccessful. It is im- 
probable that anything is now left of the most ancient 
period at that site, as the conditions in the Delta are 
so very different from those obtaining in Upper Egypt. 
There, at Hierakonpolis, and at el-Kab on the opposite 
bank of the Nile, the sites of the ancient cities Nekhen 
and Nekheb, the excavators have been very successful. 
The work was carried out by Messrs. Quibell and Green, 
in the years 1891 - 9. Prehistoric burials were found 
on the hills near by, but the larger portion of the 
antiquities were recovered from the temple-ruins, and 


date back to the beginning of the 1st Dynasty, exactly 
the time when the kings of Hierakonpolis first con- 
quered the kingdom of Buto and founded the united 
Egyptian monarchy. 

The ancient temple, which was probably one of the 
earliest seats of Egyptian civilization, was situated on 
a mound, now known as el-Kom el-ahmar y " the Red 
Hill," from its colour. The chief feature of the most 
ancient temple seems to have been a circular mound, 
revetted by a wall of sandstone blocks, which was ap- 
parently erected about the end of the predynastic 
period. Upon this a shrine was probably erected. This 
was the ancient shrine of Nekhen, the cradle of the 
Egyptian monarchy. Close by it were found some of 
the most valuable relics of the earliest Pharaonic age, 
the great ceremonial mace-heads and vases of Narmer 
and u the Scorpion," the shields or " palettes " of the 
same Narmer, the vases and stelae of Khasekhemui, and, 
of later date, the splendid copper colossal group of King 
Pepi I and his son, which is now at Cairo. Most of 
the 1st Dynasty objects are preserved in the Ashmo- 
lean Museum at Oxford, which is one of the best centres 
for the study of early Egyptian antiquities. Narmer 
and Khasekhemui are, as we shall see, two of the first 
monarchs of all Egypt. These sculptured and inscribed 
mace-heads, shields, etc., are monuments dedicated by 
them in the ancestral shrine at Hierakonpolis as records 
of their deeds. Both kings seem to have waged war 
against the Northerners, the Ann of Heliopolis and the 
Delta, and on these votive monuments from Hierakon- 


polis we find hieroglyphed records of the defeat of the 
Anu, who have very definitely Semitic physiognomies. 

On one shield or palette we see Narmer clubbing 
a man of Semitic appearance, who is called the " Only 
One of the Marsh " (Delta), while below two other 
Semites fly, seeking " fortress-protection." Above is a 
figure of a hawk, symbolizing the Upper Egyptian king, 
holding a rope which is passed through the nose of a 
Semitic head, while behind is a sign which may be read 
as " the North," so that the whole symbolizes the lead- 
ing away of the North into captivity by the king of 
the South. It is significant, in view of what has been 
said above with regard to the probable Semitic origin 
of the Heliopolitan Northerners, to find the people 
typical of the North-land represented by the South- 
erners as Semites. Equally Semitic is the overthrown 
Northerner on the other side of this well-known monu- 
ment which we are describing; he is being trampled 
under the hoofs and gored by the horns of a bull, who, 
like the hawk, symbolizes the king. The royal bull has 
broken down the wall of a fortified enclosure, in which 
is the hut or tent of the Semite, and the bricks lie about 

In connection with the Semitic origin of the North- 
erners, the form of the fortified enclosures on both 
sides of this' monument (that to whose protection the 
two Semites on one side fly, and that out of which the 
kingly bull has dragged the chief on the other) is no- 
ticeable. As usual in Egyptian writing, the hieroglyph 
of these buildings takes the form of a plan. The plan 


shows a crenelated enclosure, resembling the walls of 
a great Babylonian palace or temple, such as have 
been found at Telloh, Warka, or Mukayyar. The same 
design is found in Egypt at the Shuret ez-Zebib, 
an Old Kingdom fortress at Abydos, in the tomb of 
King Aha at Nakada, and in many walls of mastaba- 
tombs of the early time. This is another argument in 
favour of an early connection between Egypt and Baby- 
lonia. We illustrate a fragment of another votive 
shield or palette of the same kind, now in the museum 
of the Louvre, which probably came originally from 
Hierakonpolis. It is of exactly similar workmanship 
to that of Narmer, and is no doubt a fragment of an- 
other monument of that king. On it we see the same 
subject of the overthrowing of a Northerner (of Semitic 
aspect) by the royal bull. On one side, below, is a 
fortified enclosure with crenelated walls of the type 
we have described, and within it a lion and a vase; 
below this another fort, and a bird within it. These 
signs may express the names of the two forts, but, 
owing to the fact that at this early period Egyptian 
orthography was not yet fixed, we cannot read them. 
On the other side we see a row of animated nome- 
standards of Upper Egypt, with the symbols of the 
god Min of Koptos, the hawk of Horus of Edfu, the 
ibis of Thot of Eshmunen, and the jackals of Anubis 
of Abydos, which drag a rope; had we the rest of the 
monument, we should see, bound at the end of the rope, 
some prisoner, king, or animal symbolic of the North. 
On another slate shield, which we also reproduce, 




we see a symbolical representation of the capture of 
seven Northern cities, whose names seem to mean the 
Two Men/' the " Heron, " the " Owl," the " Palm," 

and the " Ghost " Cities. 
" Ghost City" is at- 
tacked by a lion, " Owl 
City ' ? by a hawk, i i Palm 
City " by two hawk 
nome-standards, and an- 
other, whose name we 
cannot guess at, is being 
opened up by a scorpion. 
The operating animals 
evidently represent 
nomes and tribes of the 
Upper Egyptians. Here 
again we see the same 
crenelated walls of the 
Northern towns, and 
there is no doubt that 
this slate fragment also, 
which is preserved in 
the Cairo Museum, is a 
monument of the con- 
quests of Narmer. It is 
executed in the same 
archaic style as those from Hierakonpolis. The ani- 
mals on the other side no doubt represent part of the 
spoil of the North. 

Returning to the great shield or palette found by 


With symbolical representation of the King of 
Upper Egypt, in the form of a bull, overthrowing 
a Northern enemy. Below are representations of 
fortresses with archaic hieroglyphs giving their 
names. Reproduced from de Morgan, Recherches, 
vol. i. 



Mr. Quibell, we see the king coming out, followed by 
his sandal-bearer, the Hen-neter or " God's Servant," 1 
to view the dead bodies of the slain Northerners which 
lie arranged in rows, 
decapitated, and . with 
their heads between their 
feet. The king is pre- 
ceded by a procession of 
nome-standards. Above 
the dead men are sym- 
bolic representations of 
a hawk perched on a 
harpoon over a boat, and 
a hawk and a door, 
which doubtless again 
refer to the fights of the 
royal hawk of Upper 
Egypt on the Nile and 
at the gate of the North. 
The designs on the mace- 
heads refer to the same 
conquest of the North. 

The monuments of 
Khasekhemui, a later 
king, show us that he 
conquered the North also and slew 47,209 " Northern 
Enemies." The contorted attitudes of the dead North- 


With the same symbolical representation. 1st 
Dynasty. Reproduced from de Morgan, Re- 
cherches, vol. i. 

1 In his commentary (Hierakonpolis, i. p. 9) on this scene, Prof. Petrie 
supposes that the seven-pointed star sign means " king," and compares the eight- 
pointed star " used for king in Babylonia." The eight-pointed star of the 



erners were greatly admired and sketched at the time, 
and were reproduced on the pedestal of the king's 
statue found by Mr. Quibell, which is now at Oxford. 
It was an age of cheerful savage energy, like most 



With symbolical representations of the Egyptian nomes. Be- 
produced from de Morgan, Recherches, vol. i. 

times when kingdoms and peoples are in the making. 

About 4000 b. c. is the date of these various monuments. 

Khasekhemui probably lived later than Narmer, and 

we may suppose that his conquest was in reality a 

cuneiform script does not mean " king," but " god." The star then ought to 
mean " god," and the title " servant of a god," and this supposition may be 
correct. Hen-neter, "god's servant," was the appellation of a peculiar kind 
of priest in later days, and was then spelt with the ordinary sign for a god, the 
picture of an axe. But in the archaic period, with which we are dealing, a star 
like the Babylonian sign may very well have been used for " god," and the title 
of Narmer's sandal-bearer may read Hen-neter. He was the slave of the living 
god Narmer. All Egyptian kings were regarded as deities, more or less. 



re-conquest. He may have lived as late as the time of 
the lid Dynasty, whereas Narmer must be placed at 
the beginning of the 1st, and his conquest was probably 
that which first united the two kingdoms of the South 
and North. As we shall see in the next chapter, he is 
probably one of the originals of the legendary " Mena," 
who was regarded from the time of the XVIIIth Dy- 


1st Dynasty. Reproduced from de Morgan, Recherches, vol. i. 

nasty onwards as the founder of the kingdom, and was 
first made known to Europe by Herodotus, under the 
name of " Menes." Narmer is therefore the last of 
the ancient kings of Hierakonpolis, the last of Mane- 
tho's " Spirits." We may possibly have recovered the 
names of one or two of the kings anterior to Nprmer 
in the excavations at Abydos (see Chapter II), but this 
is uncertain. To all intents and purposes we have only 



legendary knowledge of the Southern kingdom until its 
close, when Narmer the mighty went forth to strike 
down the Anu of the North, an exploit which he re- 
corded in votive monuments at Hierakonpolis, and 
which was commemorated henceforward throughout 
Egyptian history in the yearly " Feast of the Smiting 
of the Anu." Then was Egypt for the first time united, 
and the fortress of the " White Wall/' the " Good 
Abode " of Memphis, was built to dominate the lower 
country. The 1st Dynasty was founded and Egyptian 
history began. 



TTNTIL the recent discoveries had been made, which 
have thrown so much light upon the early history 
of Egypt, the traditional order and names of the kings 
of the first three Egyptian dynasties were, in default of 
more accurate information, retained by all writers on 
the history of the period. The names were taken from 
the official lists of kings at Abydos and elsewhere, and 
were divided into dynasties according to the system of 
Manetho, whose names agree more or less with those 
of the lists and were evidently derived from them ulti- 
mately. With regard to the fourth and later dynasties 
it was clear that the king-lists were correct, as their 
evidence agreed entirely with that of the contemporary 
monuments. But no means existed of checking the lists 
of the first three dynasties, as no contemporary monu- 
ments other than a IVth Dynasty mention of a lid 
Dynasty king, Send, had been found. The lists dated 
from the time of the XV 111th and XlXth Dynasties, 
so that it was very possible that with regard to the 



earliest dynasties they might not be very correct. This 
conclusion gained additional weight from the fact that 
no monuments of these earliest kings were ever dis- 
covered; it therefore seemed probable that they were 
purely legendary figures, in whose time (if they ever 
did exist) Egypt was still a semi-barbarous nation. 
The jejune stories told about them by Manetho seemed 
to confirm this idea. Mena, the reputed founder of the 
monarchy, was generally regarded as a historical figure, 
owing to the persistence of his name in all ancient 
literary accounts of the beginnings of Egyptian history; 
for it was but natural to suppose that the name of the 
man who unified Egypt and founded Memphis would 
endure in the mouths of the people. But with regard 
to his successors no such supposition seemed probable, 
until the time of Snef eru and the pyramid-builders. 

This was the critical view. Another school of his- 
torians accepted all the kings of the lists as historical 
en bloc, simply because the Egyptians had registered 
their names as kings. To them Teta, Ateth, and Ata 
were as historical as Mena. r 

Modern discovery has altered our view, and truth 
is seen to lie between the opposing schools, as usual. 
The kings after Mena do not seem to be such entirely 
unhistorical figures as the extreme critics thought; the 
names of several of them, e. g. Merpeba, of the 1st 
Dynasty, are correctly given in the later lists, and those 
of others were simply misread, e. g. that of Semti of 
the same dynasty, misread " Hesepti " by the list- 
makers. On the other hand, Mena himself has become 


a somewhat doubtful quantity. The real names of most 
of the early monarchs of Egypt have been recovered 
for us by the latest excavations, and we can now see 
when the list-makers of the XlXth Dynasty were right 
and when they were wrong, and can distinguish what is 
legendary in their work from what is really historical. 
It is true that they very often appear to have been 
wrong, but, on the other hand, they were sometimes 
unexpectedly near the mark, and the general number 
and arrangement of their kings seems correct; so that 
we can still go to them for assistance in the arrange- 
ment of the names which are communicated to us by 
the newly discovered monuments. Manetho's help, too, 
need never be despised because he was a copyist of 
copyists; we can still use him to direct our investiga- 
tions, and his arrangement of dynasties must still 
remain the framework of our chronological scheme, 
though he does not seem to have been always correct 
as to the places in which the dynasties originated. 

More than the names of the kings have the new dis- 
coveries communicated to us. They have shed a flood 
of light on the beginnings of Egyptian civilization and 
art, supplementing the recently ascertained facts con- 
cerning the prehistoric age which have been described 
in the preceding chapter. The impulse to these discov- 
eries was given by the work of M. de Morgan, who 
excavated sites of the early dynastic as well as of the 
predynastic age. Among these was a great mastaba- 
tomb at Nakada, which proved to be that of a very early 
king who bore the name of Aha, " the Fighter." The 


walls of this tomb are crenelated like those of the early 
Babylonian palaces and the forts of the Northerners, 
already referred to. M. de Morgan early perceived the 
difference between the Neolithic antiquities and those of 
the later archaic period of Egyptian civilization, to 
which the tomb at Nakada belonged. In the second 
volume of his great work on the primitive antiquities 
of Egypt (L'Age des Metaux et le Tombeau Roy ale de 
Negadeh), he described the antiquities of the 1st Dy- 
nasty which had been found at the time he wrote. 
Antiquities of the same primitive period and even of 
an earlier date had been discovered by Prof. Flinders 
Petrie, as has already been said, at Koptos, at the 
mouth of the Wadi Hammamat. But though Prof. 
Petrie correctly diagnosed the age of the great statues 
of the god Min which he found, he was led, by his 
misdating of the " New Race " antiquities from Ballas 
and Tukh, also to misdate several of the primitive 
antiquities,— the lions and hawks, for instance, found at 
Koptos, he placed in the period between the Vllth and 
Xth Dynasties; whereas they can now, in the light of 
further discoveries at Abydos, be seen to date to the 
earlier part of the 1st Dynasty, the time of Narmer and 

It is these discoveries at Abydos, coupled with those 
(already described) of Mr. Quibell at Hierakonpolis, 
which have told us most of what we know with regard 
to the history of the first three dynasties. At Abydos 
Prof. Petrie was not himself the first in the field, 
the site having already been partially explored by a 


French Egyptologist, M. Amelineau. The excavations 
of M. Amelineau were, however, perhaps not conducted 
strictly on scientific lines, and his results have been 
insufficiently published with very few photographs, so 
that with the best will in the world we are unable to 
give M. Amelineau the full credit which is, no doubt, 
due to him for his work. The system of Prof. Petrie 's 
publications has been often, and with justice, criticized, 
but he at least tells us every year what he has been 
doing, and gives us photographs of everything he has 
found. For this reason the epoch-making discoveries 
at Abydos have been coupled chiefly with the name of 
Prof. Petrie, while that of M. Amelineau is rarely heard 
in connection with them. As a matter of fact, however, 
M. Amelineau first excavated the necropolis of the early 
kings at Abydos, and discovered most of the tombs 
afterwards worked over by Prof. Petrie and Mr. Mace. 
Yet most of the important scientific results are due to 
the later explorers, who were the first to attempt a 
classification of them, though we must add that this 
classification has not been entirely accepted by the sci- 
entific world. 

The necropolis of the earliest kings of Egypt is 
situated in the great bay in the hills which lies behind 
Abydos, to the southwest of the main necropolis. Here, 
at holy Abydos, where every pious Egyptian wished to 
rest after death, the bodies of the most ancient kings 
were buried. It is said by Manetho that the original 
seat of their dominion was This, a town in the vicinity 
of Abydos, now represented by the modern Grirga, which 



lies a few miles distant from its site (el-Birba). This 
may be a fact, but we have as yet obtained no confirma- 
tion of it. It may well be that the attribution of a 
Thinite origin to the 1st and lid Dynasties was due 
simply to the fact that the kings of these dynasties 
were buried at Abydos, which lay within the Thinite 
nome. Manetho knew that they were buried at Abydos, 
and so jumped to the conclusion that they lived there 


also, and called them " Thmites." Their real place of 
origin must have been Hierakonpolis, where the pre- 
dynastic kingdom of the South had its seat. The Hid 
Dynasty was no doubt of Memphite origin, as Manetho 
says. It is certain that the seat of the government of 
the IVth Dynasty was at Memphis, where the pyramid- 
building kings were buried, and we know that the 
sepulchres of two Illd Dynasty kings, at least, were 
situated in the necropolis of Memphis (Sakkara- 
Medum). So that probably the seat of government 


was transferred from Hierakonpolis to Memphis by 
the first king of the Hid Dynasty. Thenceforward the 
kings were buried in the Memphite necropolis. 

The two great necropoles of Memphis and Abydos 
were originally the seats of the worship of the two 
Egyptian gods of the dead, Seker and Khentamenti, 
both of whom were afterwards identified with the Busi- 
rite god Osiris. Abydos was also the centre of the wor- 
ship of Anubis, an animal-deity of the dead, the jackal 
who prowls round the tombs at night. Anubis and 
Osiris-Khentamenti, " He who is in the West," were 
associated in the minds of the Egyptians as the pro- 
tecting deities of Abydos. The worship of these gods 
as the chief Southern deities of the dead, and the pre- 
eminence of the necropolis of Abydos in the South, no 
doubt date back before the time of the 1st Dynasty, 
so that it would not surprise us were burials of kings 
of the predynastic Hierakonpolite kingdom discovered 
at Abydos. Prof. Petrie indeed claims to have discov- 
ered actual royal relics of that period at Abydos, but 
this seems to be one of the least certain of his conclu- 
sions. We cannot definitely state that the names " Ro," 
" Ka," and " Sma " (if they are names at all, which 
is doubtful) belong to early kings of Hierakonpolis who 
were buried at Abydos. It may be so, but further con- 
firmation is desirable before we accept it as a fact; and 
as yet such confirmation has not been forthcoming. The 
oldest kings, who were certainly buried at Abydos, seem 
to have been the first rulers of the united kingdom of 
the North and South, Aha and his successors. Narmer 


is not represented. It may be that he was not buried 
at Abydos, but in the necropolis of Hierakonpolis. This 
would point to the kings of the South not having been 
buried at Abydos until after the unification of the 

That Aha possessed a tomb at Abydos as well as 
another at Nakada seems peculiar, but it is a phenom- 
enon not "unknown in Egypt. Several kings, whose bod- 
ies were actually buried elsewhere, had second tombs 
at Abydos, in Qrder that they might possess last resting- 
places near the tomb of Osiris, although they might not 
prefer to use them. Usertsen (or Senusret) III is a 
case in point. He was really buried in a pyramid at 
Illahun, up in the North, but he had a great rock tomb 
cut for him in the cliffs at Abydos, which he never occu- 
pied, and probably had never intended to occupy. We 
find exactly the same thing far back at the beginning 
of Egyptian history, when Aha possessed not only a 
great mastaba-tomb at Nakada, but also a tomb-cham- 
ber in the great necropolis of Abydos. It may be that 
other kings of the earliest period also had second sepul- 
chres elsewhere. It is noteworthy that in none of the 
early tombs at Abydos were found any bodies which 
might be considered those of the kings themselves. 
M. Amelineau discovered bodies of attendants or slaves 
(who were in all probability purposely strangled and 
buried around the royal chamber in order that they 
should attend the king in the next world), but no roy- 
alties. Prof. Petrie found the arm of a female mummy, 
who may have been of royal blood, though there is 


nothing to show that she was. And the quaint plait 
and fringe of false hair, which were also found, need 
not have belonged to a royal mummy. It is therefore 
quite possible that these tombs at Abydos were not the 
actual last resting-places of the earliest kings, who may 
really have been buried at Hierakonpolis or elsewhere, 
as Aha was. Messrs. Newberry and Garstang, in their 
Short History of Egypt, suppose that Aha was actually 
buried at Abydos, and that the great tomb with objects 
bearing his name, found by M. de Morgan at Nakada, 
is really not his, but belonged to a royal princess named 
Neit-hetep, whose name is found in conjunction with 
his at Abydos and Nakada. But the argument is equally 
valid turned round the other way: the Nakada tomb 
might just as well be Aha's and the Abydos one Neit- 
hetep 's. Neit-hetep, who is supposed by Messrs. New- 
berry and Garstang to have been Narmer's daughter 
and Aha's wife, was evidently closely connected with 
Aha, and she may have been buried with him at Nakada 
and commemorated with him at Abydos. 1 It is prob- 
able that the XlXth Dynasty list-makers and Manetho 
considered the Abydos tombs to have been the real 
graves of the kings, but it is by no means impossible 
that they were wrong. 

This view of the royal tombs at Abydos tallies to 
a great extent with that of M. Naville, who has ener- 
getically maintained the view that M. Amelineau and 
Prof. Petrie have not discovered the real tombs of the 

1 A princess named Bener-ab ("Sweet-heart"), who may have been Aha's 
daughter, was actually buried beside his tomb at Abydos. 


early kings, but only their contemporary commemora- 
tive " tombs " at Abydos. The only real tomb of the 
1st Dynasty, therefore, as yet discovered is that of Aha 
at Nakada, found by M. de Morgan. The fact that 
attendant slaves were buried around the Abydos tombs 
is no bar to the view that the tombs were only the monu- 
ments, not the real graves, of the kings. The royal 
ghosts would naturally visit their commemorative cham- 
bers at Abydos, in order to be in the company of the 
great Osiris, and ghostly servants would be as necessary 
to their Majesties at Abydos as elsewhere. 

It must not be thought that this revised opinion of 
the Abydos tombs detracts in the slightest degree from 
the importance of the discovery of M. Amelineau and 
its subsequent and more detailed investigation by Prof. 
Petrie. These monuments are as valuable for historical 
purposes as the real tombs themselves. The actual 
bodies of these primeval kings themselves we are never 
likely to find. The tomb of Aha at Nakada had been 
completely rifled in ancient times. 

The commemorative tombs of the kings of the 1st 
and lid Dynasties at Abydos lie southwest of the great 
necropolis, far within the bay in the hills. Their present 
aspect is that of a wilderness of sand hillocks, covered 
with masses of fragments of red pottery, from which 
the site has obtained the modern Arab name of TJmm 
el-Ga'ab, " Mother of Pots." It is impossible to move 
a step in any direction without crushing some of these 
potsherds under the heel. They are chiefly the remains 
of the countless little vases of rough red pottery, which 



were dedicated here as ex-votos by the pious, between 
the XlXth and XXVIth Dynasties, to the memory of 
the ancient kings and of the great god Osiris, whose 
tomb, as we shall see, was supposed to have been situ- 
ated here also. Intermingled with these later fragments 
are pieces of the 
original 1st Dy- 
nasty vases, which 
were filled with 
wine and provi- 
sions and were 
placed in the tombs, 
for the refreshment 
and delectation of 
the royal ghosts 
when they should 
visit their houses at 
Abydos. These 
were thrown out 
and broken when 
the tombs were vio- 
lated. Here and 
there one sees a dip 
in the sand, out of which rise four walls of great bricks, 
forming a rectangular chamber, half-filled with sand. 
This is one of the royal tomb-chambers of the 1st 
Dynasty. That of King Den is illustrated above. A 
straight staircase descends into it from the ground-level 
above. In several of the tombs the original flooring of 
wooden beams is still preserved. Den's is the most 

About 4000 B. c. 


magnificent of all, for it has a floor of granite blocks; 
we know of no other instance of stone being used for 
building in this early age. Almost every tomb has been 
burnt at some period unknown. The brick walls are 
burnt red, and many of the alabaster vases are almost 
calcined. This was probably the work of some unknown 

The wide complicated tombs have around the main 
chamber a series of smaller rooms, which were used to 
store what w r as considered necessary for the use of the 
royal ghost. Of these necessaries the most interesting 
to us are the slaves, who were, as there is little reason 
to doubt, purposely killed and buried round the royal 
chamber so that their spirits should be on the spot when 
the dead king came to Abydos; thus they would be 
always ready to serve him with the food and other things 
which had been stored in the tomb with them and placed 
under their charge. There were stacks of great vases 
of wine, corn, and other food; these were covered up 
with masses of fat to preserve the contents, and they 
were corked with a pottery stopper, which was protected 
by a conical clay sealing, stamped with the impress of 
the royal cylinder-seal. There were bins of corn, joints 
of oxen, pottery dishes, copper pans, and other things 
w T hich might be useful for the ghostly cuisine of the 
tomb. There were numberless small objects, used, no 
doubt, by the dead monarch during life, w T hich he would 
be pleased to see again in the next world,— carved ivory 
boxes, little slabs for grinding eye-paint, golden buttons, 
model tools, model vases with gold tops, ivory and pot- 



tery figurines, and other objets d'art; the golden royal 
seal of judgment of King Den in its ivory casket, and 
so forth. There were memorials of the royal victories in 
peace and war, little ivory plaques with inscriptions 
commemorating the founding of new buildings, the insti- 
tution of new religious festivals in honour of the gods, 


From Abydos. 1st Dynasty : about 4000 b. c. Photograph reproduced from M. tie Morgan's 

Recherches, vol. i. 

the bringing of the captives of the royal bow and spear 
to the palace, the discomfiture of the peoples of the 
North-land. All these things, which have done so much 
to reconstitute for us the history of the earliest period 
of the Egyptian monarchy, were placed under the care 
of the dead slaves whose bodies were buried round 


the empty tomb-chamber of their royal master in 

The killing and entombment of the royal servants 
is of the highest anthropological interest, for it throws 
a vivid light upon the manners of the time. It shows 
the primeval Egyptians as a semi-barbaric people of 
childishly simple ways of thought. The king was dead. 
For all his kingship he was a man, and no man was 
immortal in this world. But yet how could one really 
die? Shadows, dreams, all kinds of phenomena which 
the primitive mind could not explain, induced the belief 
that, though the outer man might rot, there was an inner 
man which could not die and still lived on. The idea 
of total death was unthinkable. And where should this 
inner man still live on but in the tomb to which the 
outer man was consigned? And here, doubtless it was 
believed, in the house to which the body was consigned, 
the ghost lived on. And as each ghost had his house 
with the body, so no doubt all ghosts could communicate 
with one another from tomb to tomb ; and so there grew 
up the belief in a tomb-world, a subterranean Egypt of 
tombs, in which the dead Egyptians still lived and had 
their being. Later on the boat of the sun, in which the 
god of light crossed the heavens by day, was thought 
to pass through this dead world between his setting and 
his rising, accompanied by the souls of the righteous. 
But of this belief we find no trace vet in the ideas of 
the 1st Djoiasty. All we can see is that the sahus, or 
bodies of the dead, were supposed to reside in awful 
majesty in the tomb, while the ghosts could pass from 


tomb to tomb through the mazes of the underworld. 
Over this dread realm of dead men presided a dead god, 
Osiris of Abydos; and so the necropolis of Abydos was 
the necropolis of the underworld, to which all ghosts 
who were not its rightful citizens would come from 
afar to pay their court to their ruler. Thus the man 
of substance would have a monumental tablet put up 
to himself in this necropolis as a sort of pied-a-terre, 
even if he could not be buried there; for the king, who, 
for reasons chiefly connected with local patriotism, was 
buried near the city of his earthly abode, a second tomb 
would be erected, a stately mansion in the city of Osiris, 
in which his ghost could reside when it pleased him to 
come to Abydos. 

Now none could live without food, and men living 
under the earth needed it as much as men living on the 
earth. The royal tomb was thus provided with an enor- 
mous amount of earthly food for the use of the royal 
ghost, and with other things as well, as we have seen. 
The same provision had also to be made for the royal 
resting-place at Abydos. And in both cases royal slaves 
were needed to take care of all this provision, and to 
serve the ghost of the king, whether in his real tomb at 
Nakada, or elsewhere, or in his second tomb at Abydos. 
Ghosts only could serve ghosts, so that of the slaves 
ghosts had to be made. That was easily done; they died 
when their master died and followed him to the tomb. 
No doubt it seemed perfectly natural to all concerned, 
to the slaves as much as to anybody else. But it shows 
the child's idea of the value of life. An animate thing 


was hardly distinguished at this period from an inani- 
mate thing. The most ancient Egyptians buried slaves 
with their kings as naturally as they buried jars of wine 
and bins of corn with them. Both were buried with a 
definite object. The slaves had to die before they were 
buried, but then so had the king himself. They all had 
to die sometime or other. And the actual killing of 
them was no worse than killing a dog, no worse even 
than " killing " golden buttons and ivory boxes. For, 
when the buttons and boxes were buried with the king, 
they were just as much dead as the slaves. Of the 
sanctity of human life as distinct from other life, there 
was probably no idea at all. The royal ghost needed 
ghostly servants, and they were provided as a matter 
of course. 

But as civilization progressed, the ideas of the Egyp- 
tians changed on these points, and in the later ages of 
the ancient world they were probably the most humane 
of the peoples, far more so than the Greeks, in fact. 
The cultured Hellenes murdered their prisoners of war 
without hesitation. Who has, not been troubled in mind 
by the execution of Nikias and Demosthenes after the 
surrender of the Athenian army at Syracuse? When 
we compare this with Grant's refusal even to take Lee's 
sword at Appomattox, we see how we have progressed 
in these matters; while Gylippus and the Syracusans 
were as much children as the 1st Dynasty Egyptians. 
But the Egyptians of Gylippus 's time had probably ad- 
vanced much further than the Greeks in the direction 
of rational manhood. When Amasis had his rival Apries 


in his power, he did not put him to death, but kept him 
as his coadjutor on the throne. Apries fled from him, 
allied himself with Greek pirates, and advanced against 
his generous rival. After his defeat and murder at 
Momemphis, Amasis gave him a splendid burial. When 
we compare this generosity to a beaten foe with the 
savagery of the Assyrians, for instance, we see how far 
the later Egyptians had progressed in the paths of 

The ancient custom of killing slaves was first dis- 
continued at the death of the lesser chieftains, but we 
find a possible survival of it in the case of a king, even 
as late as the time of the Xlth Dynasty; for at Thebes, 
in the precinct of the funerary temple of King Neb- 
hapet-Ra Mentuhetep and round the central pyramid 
which commemorated his memory, were buried a number 
of the ladies of his harirn. They were all buried at one 
and the same time, and there can be little doubt that 
they were all killed and buried round the king, in order 
to be with him in the next world. Now with each of 
these ladies, who had been turned into ghosts, was 
buried a little waxen human figure placed in a little 
model coffin. This was to replace her own slave. She 
who went to accompany the king in the next world had 
to have her own attendant also. But, not being royal, 
a real slave was not killed for her; she only took with 
her a waxen figure, which by means of charms and 
incantations would, when she called upon it, turn into 
a real slave, and say, " Here am I," and do whatever 
work might be required of her. The actual killing and 


burial of the slaves had in all cases except that of the 
king been long " commuted," so to speak, into a burial 
with the dead person of ushabtis, or " Answerers," little 
figures like those described above, made more usually 
of stone, and inscribed with the name of the deceased. 
They were called " Answerers " because they answered 
the call of their dead master or mistress, and by magic 
power became ghostly servants. Later on they were 
made of wood and glazed faience, as well as stone. By 
this means the greater humanity of a later age sought 
a relief from the primitive disregard of the death of 

Anthropologically interesting as are the results of 
the excavations at Umm el-Ga'ab, they are no less his- 
torically important. There is no need here to weary 
the reader with the details of scientific controversy; it 
will suffice to set before him as succinctly and clearly 
as possible the net results of the work which has been 

Messrs. Amelineau and Petrie have found the sec- 
ondary tombs and have identified the names of the fol- 
lowing primeval kings of Egypt. We arrange them in 
their apparent historical order. 

1. Aha Men (?). 8. Qa Sen. 

2. Narmer (or Betjumer) Sma (?). 9. Khasekhem (Khasekhemui) 

3. Tjer (or Khent). Besh. 

4. Tja Ati. 10. Hetepsekhemui. 

5. Den Semti. 11. Raneb. 

6. Atjab Merpeba. 12. Neneter. 

7. Semerkha Nekht. 13. Sekhemab Perabsen. 


Two or three other names are ascribed by Prof. 
Petrie to the Hierakonpolite dynasty of Upper Egypt, 
which, as it occurs before the time of Mena and the 
1st Dynasty, he calls " Dynasty O." Dynasty O, how- 
ever, is no dynasty, and in any case we should prefer 
to call the " predynastic " dynasty " Dynasty —I." 
The names of " Dynasty minus One," however, remain 
problematical, and for the present it would seem safer 
to suspend judgment as to the place of the supposed 
royal names " Ro " and " Ka " (Men-ka?), which Prof. 
Petrie supposes to have been those of two of the kings 
of Upper Egypt who reigned before Mena. The king 
" Sma ",(" Uniter ") is possibly identical with Aha or 
Narmer, more probably the latter. It is not necessary 
to detail the process by which Egyptologists have sought 
to identify these thirteen kings with the successors of 
Mena in the lists of kings and the 1st and lid Dynas- 
ties of Manetho. The work has been very successful, 
though not perhaps quite so completely accomplished 
as Prof. Petrie himself inclines to believe. The first 
identification was made by Prof. Sethe, of Gottingen, 
who pointed out that the names Semti and Merpeba on 
a vase-fragment found by M. Amelineau were in reality 
those of the kings Hesepti and Merbap of the lists, the 
Ousapha'is and Miebis of Manetho. The perfectly cer- 
tain identifications are these:— 

5. Den Semti = Hesepti, Ousaphais, 1st Dynasty. 

6. Atjab Merpeba = Merbap, Miebis, 1st Dynasty. 

7. Semerkha Nekht= Shemsu or Semsem (?), Semempres, 1st Dynasty. 

8. Qa Sen = Qebh, Bienekhes, 1st Dynasty. 


9. Khasekhemui Besh = Betju-mer (?), Boethos, lid Dynasty. 
12 Neneter = Bineneter, Binothris, Hd Dynasty. 

Six of the Abydos kings have thus been identified 
with names in the lists and in Manetho; that is to say, 
we now know the real names of six of the earliest Egyp- 
tian monarchs, whose appellations are given us under 
mutilated forms by the later list-makers. Prof. Petrie 
further identifies (4) Tja Ati with Ateth, (3) Tjer with 
Teta, and (1) Aha with Mena. Mena, Teta, Ateth, Ata, 
Hesepti, Merbap, Shemsu (?), and Qebh are the names 
of the 1st Dynasty as given in the lists. The equivalent 
of Ata Prof. Petrie finds in the name ' ' Merneit, ' ' which 
is found at Umm el-Ga'ab. But there is no proof what- 
ever that Merneit was a king; he was much more prob- 
ably a prince or other great personage of the reign of 
Den, who was buried with the kings. Prof. Petrie ac- 
cepts the identification of the personal name of Aha as 
" Men," and so makes him the only equivalent of Mena. 
But this reading of the name is still doubtful. Arguing 
that Aha must be Mena, aiid having all the rest of the 
kings of the 1st Dynasty identified with the names in 
the lists, Prof. Petrie is compelled to exclude Narmer 
from the dynasty, and to relegate him to " Dynasty O," 
before the time of Mena. It is quite possible, however, 
that Narmer was the successor, not the predecessor, of 
Mena. He was certainly either the one or the other, 
as the style of art in his time was exactly the same as 
that in the time of Aha. The " Scorpion," too, whose 
name is found at Hierakonpolis, certainly dates to the 


same time as Narmer and Aha, for the style of his work 
is the same. And it may well be that he is not to be 
counted as a separate king, belonging to " Dynasty " 
(or " Dynasty —I ") at all, but as identical with 
Narmer, just as " Sma " may also be. We thus find 
that the two kings who left the most developed remains 
at Hierakonpolis are the two whose monuments at Aby- 
dos are the oldest of all on that site. That is to say, 
the kings whose monuments record the conquest of the 
North belong to the period of transition from the old 
Hierakonpolite dominion of Upper Egypt to the new 
kingdom of all Egypt. They, in fact, represent the 
" Mena " or Menes of tradition. It may be that Aha 
bore the personal name of Men, which would thus be 
the original of Mena, but this is uncertain. In any case 
both Aha and Narmer must be assigned to the 1st Dy- 
nasty, with the result that we know of more kings 
belonging to the dynasty than appear in the lists. 

Nor is this improbable. Manetho's list is evidently 
based upon old Egyptian lists derived from the authori- 
ties upon which the king-lists of Abydos and Sakkara 
were based. These old lists were made under the XlXth 
Dynasty, when an interest in the oldest kings seems to 
have been awakened, and the ruling monarchs erected 
temples at Abydos in their honour. This phenomenon 
can only have been due to a discovery of Umm el-Ga'ab 
and its treasures, the tombs of which were recognized 
as the burial-places (real or secondary) of the kings 
before the pyramid-builders. Seti I. and his son Ramses 
then worshipped the kings of Umm el-Ga'ab, with their 


names set before them in the order, number, and spelling 
in which the scribes considered they ought to be in- 
scribed. It is highly probable that the number known 
at that time was not quite correct. We know that the 
spelling of the names was very much garbled (to take 
one example only, the signs for Sen were read as one 
sign Qebh), so that one or two kings may have been 
omitted or displaced. This may be the case with Nar- 
mer, or, as his name ought possibly to be read, Betju- 
mer. His monuments show by their style that he 
belongs to the very beginning of the 1st Dynasty. No 
name in the 1st Dynasty list corresponds to his. But 
one of the lists gives for the first king of the lid 
Dynasty (the successor of " Qebh " = Sen) a name 
which may also be read Betjumer, spelt syllabically 
this time, not ideographically. On this account Prof. 
Naville wishes to regard the Hierakonpolite monuments 
of Narmer as belonging to the lid Dynasty, but, as we 
have seen, they are among the most archaic known, 
and certainly must belong to the beginning of the 1st 
Dynasty. It is therefore <probable that Khasekhemui 
Besh and Narmer (Betjumer?) were confused by this 
list-maker, and the name Betjumer was given to the 
first king of the lid Dynasty, who was probably in 
reality Khasekhemui. The resemblance of [ Betju to 
Besh may have contributed to this confusion. 

So Narmer (or Betjumer) found his way out of his 
proper place at the beginning of the 1st Dynasty. 
Whether Aha was also called " Men " or not, it seems 
evident that he and Narmer were jointly the originals 


of the legendary Mena. Narmer, who possibly also bore 
the name of Sma, " the Uniter," conquered the North. 
Aha, " the Fighter," also ruled both South and North 
at the same period. Khasekhemui, too, conquered the 
North, but the style of his monuments shows such an 
advance upon that of the days of Aha and Narmer that 
it seems best to make him the successor of Sen (or 
" Qebh "), and, explaining the transference of the name 
Betjumer to the beginning of the lid Dynasty as due 
to a confusion with Khasekhemui 's personal name Besh, 
to make Khasekhemui the founder of the lid Dynasty. 
The beginning of a new dynasty may well have been 
marked by a reassertion of the new royal power over 
Lower Egypt, which may have lapsed somewhat under 
the rule of the later kings of the 1st Dynasty. 

Semti is certainly the " Hesepti " of the lists, and 
Tja Ati is probably " Ateth." " Ata " is thus uniden- 
tified. Prof. Petrie makes him = Merneit, but, as has 
already been said, there is no proof that the tomb of 
Merneit is that of a king. " Teta " may be Tjer or 
Khent, but of this there is no proof. It is most prob- 
able that the names " Teta," " Ateth," and " Ata " are 
all founded on Ati, the personal name of Tja. The king 
Tjer is then not represented in the lists, and " Mena " 
is a compound of the two oldest Abydos kings, Narmer 
(Betjumer) Sma (?) and Aha Men (?). 

These are the bare historical results that have been 
attained with regard to the names, identity, and o v der 
of the kings. The smaller memorials that have been 
found with them, especially the ivory plaques, have told 


us of events that took place during their reigns; but, 
with the exception of the constantly recurring refer- 
ences to the conquest of the North, there is little that 
can be considered of historical interest or importance. 
We will take one as an example. This is the tablet 
No. 32,650 of the British Museum, illustrated by Prof. 
Petrie, Royal Tombs i (Egypt Exploration Fund), pi. 
xi, 14, xv, 16. This is the record of a single year, the 
first in the reign of Semti, King of Upper and Lower 
Egypt. On it we see a picture of a king performing 
a religious dance before the god Osiris, who is seated 
in a shrine placed on a dais. This religious dance was 
performed by all the kings in later times. Below we 
find hieroglyphic (ideographic) records of a river expe- 
dition to fight the Northerners and of the capture of a 
fortified town called An. The capture of the town is 
indicated by a broken line of fortification, half -encircling 
the name, and the hoe with which the emblematic hawks 
on the slate reliefs already described * are armed; this 
signifies the opening and breaking down of the wall. 

On the other half of the tablet we find the viceroy 
of Lower Egypt, Hemaka, mentioned; also " the Hawk 
(i. e. the king) seizes the seat of the Libyans,' ' and some 
unintelligible record of a jeweller of the palace and a 
king's carpenter. On a similar tablet (of Sen) we find 
the words " the king's carpenter made this record." 
All these little tablets are then the records of single 
years of a king's life, and others like them, preserved 
no doubt in royal archives, formed the base of regular 

1 See p. 51. 


annals, which were occasionally carved upon stone. We 
have an example of one of these in the " Stele of Pa- 
lermo/' a fragment of black granite, inscribed with the 
annals of the kings up to the time of the Vth Dynasty, 
when the monument itself was made. It is a matter 
for intense regret that the greater portion of this price- 
less historical monument has disappeared, leaving us 
but a piece out of the centre, with part of the records 
of only six kings before Snefru. Of these six the name 
of only one, Neneter, of the lid Dynasty, whose name 
is also found at Abydos, is mentioned. The only impor- 
tant historical event of Neneter 's reign seems to have 
occurred in his thirteenth year, when the towns or pal- 
aces of Ha (" North ") and Shem-Rd (" The Sun pro- 
ceeds ") were founded. Nothing but the institution and 
celebration of religious festivals is recorded in the six- 
teen yearly entries preserved to us out of a reign of 
thirty-five years. The annual height of the Nile is given, 
and the occasions of numbering the people are recorded 
(every second year) : nothing else. Manetho tells us that 
in the reign of Binothris, who is Neneter, it was decreed 
that women could hold royal honours and privileges. 
This first concession of women's rights is not mentioned 
on the strictly official " Palermo Stele." 

More regrettable than aught else is the absence from 
the " Palermo Stele " of that part of the original monu- 
ment which gave the annals of the earliest kings. At 
any rate, in the lines of annals which still exist above 
that which contains the chronicle of the reign of Neneter 
no entry can be definitely identified as belonging to the 


reigns of Aha or Narmer. In a line below there is a 
mention of the " birth of Khasekhemui, ' ' apparently a 
festival in honour of the birth of that king celebrated 
in the same way as the reputed birthday of a god. This 
shows the great honour in which Khasekhemui was held, 
and perhaps it was he who really finally settled the 
question of the unification of North and South and con- 
solidated the work of the earlier kings. 

As far as we can tell, then, Aha and Narmer were the 
first conquerors of the North, the unifiers of the king- 
dom, and the originals of the legendary Mena. In their 
time the kingdom's centre of gravity was still in the 
South, and Narmer (who is probably identical with " the 
Scorpion ") dedicated the memorials of his deeds in the 
temple of Hierakonpolis. It may be that the legend of 
the founding of Memphis in the time of " Menes " is 
nearly correct (as we shall see, historically, the founda- 
tion may have been due to Merpeba), but we have the 
authority of Manetho for the fact that the first two 
dynasties were " Thinite " (that is, Upper Egyptian), 
and that Memphis did not become the capital till the 
time of the Hid Dynasty. With this statement the evi- 
dence of the monuments fully agrees. The earliest royal 
tombs in the pyramid-field of Memphis date from the 
time of the Hid Dynasty, so that it is evident that the 
kings had then taken up their abode in the Northern 
capital. We find that soon after the time of Khase- 
khemui the king Perabsen was especially connected with 
Lower Egypt. His personal name is unknown to us 
(though he may be the " Uatjnes " of the lists), but 


we do know that he had two banner-names, Sekhem-ab 
and Perabsen. The first is his hawk or Horus-name, the 
second his Set-name; that is to say, while he bore the 
first name as King of Upper Egypt under the special 
patronage of Horus, the hawk-god of the Upper Coun- 
try, he bore the second as King of Lower Egypt, under 
the patronage of Set, the deity of the Delta, whose fetish 
animal appears above this name instead of the hawk. 
This shows how definitely Perabsen wished to appear 
as legitimate King of Lower as well as Upper Egypt. 
In later times the Theban kings of the Xllth Dynasty, 
when they devoted themselves to winning the allegiance 
of the Northerners by living near Memphis rather than 
at Thebes, seem to have been imitating the successors 
of Khasekhemui. 

Moreover, we now find various evidences of increas- 
ing connection with the North. A princess named Ne- 
maat-hap, who seems to have been the mother of Sa- 
nekht, the first king of the Hid Dynasty, bears the name 
of the sacred Apis of Memphis, her name signifying 
" Possessing the right of Apis." According to Manetho, 
the kings of the Illd Dynasty are the first Memphites, 
and this seems to be quite correct. With Ne-maat-hap 
the royal right seems to have been transferred to a 
Memphite house. But the Memphites still had asso- 
ciations with Upper Egypt: two of them, Tjeser Khet- 
neter and Sa-nekht, were buried near Abydos, in the 
desert at Bet Khallaf, where their tombs were discov- 
ered and excavated by Mr. Garstang in 1900. The tomb 
of Tjeser, which is illustrated on page 82, is a great 



brick-built mastaba, forty feet high and measuring 300 
feet by 150 feet. The actual tomb-chambers are exca- 
vated in the rock, twenty feet below the ground-level 
and sixty feet below the top of the mastaba. They had 
been violated in ancient times, but a number of clay 
jar-sealings, alabaster vases, and bowls belonging to 
the tomb furniture were found by the discoverer. Sa- 
nekht's tomb is similar. In it was found the preserved 


1^4 - f ' \ 


m ,i u 

.^^U •*♦ tj|i 


■ 1 

IHHHBIm[m&km*m2hK% jt-w -~^HP 


a^^g^^a^MriB8B»i<teawia>, -i- •- .. 

tuiftJiiJ'.L ' I ' 

j^^j^Smemgf^Bm^wJtff^ "-•> ■'*&*?.' Jfi 


About 3700 B. C. 

skeleton of its owner, who was a giant seven feet high. 
It is remarkable that Manetho chronicles among the 
kings of the early period a king named Sesokhris, who 
was five cubits high. This may have been Sa-nekht. 

Tjeser had two tombs, one, the above-mentioned, 
near Abydos, the other at Sakkara, in the Memphite 
pyramid-field. This is the famous Step-Pyramid. Since 
Sa-nekht seems really to have been buried at Bet Khal- 
laf, probably Tjeser was, too, and the Step-Pyramid may 
have been his secondary or sham tomb, erected in the 
necropolis of Memphis as a compliment to Seker, the 


Northern god of the dead, just as Aha had his secondary 
tomb at Abydos in compliment to Khentamenti. Sne- 
feru, also, the last king of the Hid Dynasty, seems to 
have had two tombs. One of these was the great Pyra- 
mid of Medum, which was explored by Prof. Petrie in 
1891, the other was at Dashur. Near by was the inter- 
esting necropolis already mentioned, in which was dis- 
covered evidence of the continuance of the cramped posi- 
tion of burial and of the absence of mummification 
among a certain section of the population even as late 
as the time of the IVth Dynasty. This has been taken 
to imply that the fusion of the primitive Neolithic and 
invading sub-Semitic races had not been effected at that 

With the IVth Dynasty the connection of the royal 
house with the South seems to have finally ceased. The 
governmental centre of gravity was finally transferred 
to Memphis, and the kings were thenceforth for several 
centuries buried in the great pyramids which still stand 
in serried order along the western desert border of 
Egypt, from the Delta to the province of the Eayyum. 
With the latest discoveries in this Memphite pyramid- 
field we shall deal in the next chapter. 

The transference of the royal power to Memphis 
under the Hid Dynasty naturally led to a great increase 
of Egyptian activity in the Northern lands. We read in 
Manetho of a great Libyan war in the reign of Neche- 
rophes, and both Sa-nekht and Tjeser seem to have 
finally established Egyptian authority in the Sinaitic 
peninsula, where their rock-inscriptions have been found. 


portcullises which were intended to bar the way to pos- 
sible plunderers through the passages of the tomb. The 
Step-Pyramid at Sakkara is, so to speak, a series of 
mastabas of stone, imposed one above the other; it never 
had the continuous casing of stone which is the mark 
of a true pyramid. The pyramid of Snefru at Medum 
is more developed. It also originated in a mastaba, 
enlarged, and with another mastaba-like erection on the 
top of it; but it was given a continuous sloping casing 
of fine limestone from bottom to top, and so is a true 
pyramid. A discussion of recent theories as to the build- 
ing of the later pyramids of the IVth Dynasty will be 
found in the next chapter. 

In the time of the 1st Dynasty the royal tomb was 
known by the name of " Protection-around-the-Hawk, 
i.e. the king " (Sa-ha-lieru); but under the Illd and 
IVth Dynasties regular names, such as " the Firm," 
" the Glorious," " the Appearing," etc., were given to 
each pyramid. 

We must not omit to note an interesting point in 
connection with the royal tombs at Abydos. In that 
of King Khent or Tjer (the reading of the ideograph is 
doubtful) M. Amelineau found a large bed or bier of 
granite, with a figure of the god Osiris lying in state 
sculptured in high relief upon it. This led him to jump 
to the conclusion that he had found the tomb of the god 
Osiris himself, and that a skull he found close by was 
the veritable cranium of the primeval folk-hero, who, 
according to the euhemerist theory, was the deified orig- 
inal of the god. The true explanation is given by Dr. 

False Door of the Tomb of Teta. 

An official of the IVth Dynasty ; about 3600 B. C. From Qua. British Museum. Photograph by 

Messrs. Mansell & Co. 


Wallis Budge in his History of Egypt, i, p. 19. It is 
a fact that the tomb of Tjer was regarded by the Egyp- 
tians of the XlXth Dynasty as the veritable tomb of 
Osiris. They thought they had discovered it, just as 
M. Amelineau did. When the ancient royal tombs of 
Umm el-Ga'ab were rediscovered and identified at the 
beginning of the XlXth Dynasty, and Seti I built the 
great temple of Abydos to the divine ancestors in honour 
of the discovery, embellishing it with a relief of himself 
and his son Ramses making offerings to the names of 
his predecessors (the " Tablet of Abydos "), the name 
of King Khent or Tjer (which is perhaps the really cor- 
rect original form) was read by the royal scribes as 
" Khent " and hastily identified with the first part of 
the name of the god ZT/^wi-amenti Osiris, the lord of 
Abydos. The tomb was thus regarded as the tomb of 
Osiris himself, and it was furnished with a great stone 
figure of the god lying on his bier, attended by the two 
hawks of Isis and Nephthys; ever after the site was 
visited by crowds of pilgrims, who left at Umm el-Ga'ab 
the thousands of little votive vases whose fragments 
have given the place its name of the " Mother of Pots.' 
This is the explanation of the discovery of the " Tomb 
of Osiris." We have not found what M. Amelineau 
seems rather naively to have thought possible, a con- 
firmation of the ancient view that Osiris was originally 
a man who ruled over Egypt and was deified after his 
death; but we have found that the Egyptians them- 
selves were more or less euhemerists, and did thinK so. 

1 See p. 64. 


It may seem remarkable that all this new knowledge 
of ancient Egypt is derived from tombs and has to do 
with the resting-places of the kings when dead, rather 
than with their palaces or temples when living. Of 
temples at this early period we have no trace. The old- 
est temple in Egypt is perhaps the little chapel in front 
of the pyramid of Snefru at Medum. We first hear of 
temples to the gods under the IVth Dynasty, but of the 
actual buildings of that period we have recovered noth- 
ing but one or two inscribed blocks of stone. Prof. 
Petrie has traced out the plan of the oldest temple of 
Osiris at Abydos, which may be of the time of Khufu, 
from scanty evidences which give us but little informa- 
tion. It is certain, however, that this temple, which is 
clearly one of the oldest in Egypt, goes back at least 
to his time. Its site is the mound called Kom es-Sultan, 
" The Mound of the King," close to the village of el- 
Kherba, and on the borders of the cultivation northeast 
of the royal tombs at Umm el-Ga'ab. 

Of royal palaces we have more definite information. 
North of the Kom es-Sultan are two great fortress-en- 
closures of brick: the one is known as Shunet ez-Zebib, 
"the Storehouse of Dried Grapes;" the other is occu- 
pied by the Coptic monastery of Der Anba Musas. Both 
are certainly fortress-palaces of the earliest period of the 
Egyptian monarchy. We know from the small record- 
plaques of this period that the kings were constantly 
founding or repairing places of this kind, which were 
always great rectangular enclosures with crenelated 
brick walls like those of early Babylonian buildings. 



We have seen that the Northern Egyptian possessed 
similar fortress-cities which were captured by Narmer. 1 
These were the seats of the royal residence in various 
parts of the country. Behind their walls was the king's 
house, and no doubt also a town of nobles and retainers, 
while the peasants lived on the arable land without. 
The Shunet ez-Zebib and its companion fortress were 


About 3900 B. c. 

evidently the royal cities of the 1st and lid Dynasties at 
Abydos. The former has been excavated by Mr. E. R. 
Ayrton for the Egypt Exploration Fund, under the 
supervision of Prof. Petrie. He found jar-sealings of 
Khasekhemui and Perabsen. In later times the place 
was utilized as a burial-place for ibis-mummies (it had 
already been abandoned as a city before the time of the 
Xllth Dynasty), and from this fact it received the name 
of Shenet deb-Jiib, or " Storehouse of Ibis Burials." The 
Arab invaders adapted this name to their own language 

1 See p. 50. 


in the nearest form which would have any meaning, as 
Shunet ez-Zebib, " the Storehouse of Dried Grapes." 
The Arab word shuna (" Barn " or " Storehouse ") was. 
it should be noted, taken over from the Coptic sheune, 
which is the old-Egyptian shenet. The identity of 
sheane or shuna with the German " Scheune " is a 
quaint and curious coincidence. In the illustration of 
the Shunet ez-Zebib the curved line of crenelated wall, 
following the contour of the hill, should be noted, as it 
is a remarkable example of the building of this early 

It will have been seen from the foregoing description 
of what far-reaching importance the discoveries at Aby- 
dos have been. A new chapter of the history of the 
human race has been opened, which contains information 
previously undreamt of, information which Egyptolo- 
gists had never dared to hope would be recovered. 
The sand of Egypt indeed conceals inexhaustible treas- 
ures, and no one knows what the morrow's work may 
bring forth. 

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi! 



MEMPHIS, the " beautiful abode," the " City of the 
"White Wall," is said to have been founded by the 
legendary Menes, who in order to build it diverted the 
stream of the Nile by means of a great dyke constructed 
near the modern village of Koshesh, south of the village 
of Mitrahena, which marks the central point of the 
ancient metropolis of Northern Egypt. It may be that 
the city was founded by Aha or Narmer, the historical 
originals of Mena or Menes; but we have another theory 
with regard to its foundation, that it was originally built 
by King Merpeba Atjab, whose tomb was also discov- 
ered at Abydos near those of Aha and Narmer. Mer- 
peba is the oldest king whose name is absolutely identi- 
fied with one occurring in the XlXth Dynasty king-lists 
and in Manetho. He is certainly the " Merbap " or 
" Merbepa " (" Merbapen ") of the lists and the Miebis 
of Manetho. In both the lists and in Manetho he stands 
fifth in order from Mena, and he was therefore the sixth 
king of the 1st Dynasty. The lists, Manetho, and the 



small monuments in his own tomb agree in making him 
the immediate successor of Semti Den (Ousaphais), and 
from the style of these latter it is evident that he comes 
after Tja, Tjer, Narmer, and Aha. That is to say, the 
contemporary evidence makes him the fifth king from 
Aha, the first original of " Menes." 

Now after the piety of Seti I had led him to erect 
a great temple at Abydos in memory of the ancient 
kings, whose sepulchres had probably been brought to 
light shortly before, and to compile and set up in the 
temple a list of his predecessors, a certain pious snob- 
bery or snobbish piety impelled a worthy named Tunure, 
who lived at Memphis, to put up in his own tomb at 
Sakkara a tablet of kings like the royal one at Abydos. 
If Osiris-Khentamenti at Abydos had his tablet of 
kings, so should Osiris-Seker at Sakkara. But Tunure 
does not begin his list w 7 ith Mena; his initial king is 
Merpeba. For him Merpeba was the first monarch to 
be commemorated at Sakkara. Does not this look very 
much as if the strictly historical Merpeba, not the rather 
legendary and confused Me^ia, was regarded as the first 
Memphite king? It may well be that it was in the reign 
of Merpeba, not in that of Aha or Narmer, that Memphis 
was founded. 

The XlXth Dynasty lists of course say nothing about 
Mena or Merpeba having founded Memphis; they only 
give the names of the kings, nothing more. The earliest 
authority for the ascription of Memphis to " Menes " 
is Herodotus, who was followed in this ascription, as 
in many other matters, by Manetho; but it must be 


remembered that Manetho was writing for the edifica- 
tion of a Greek king (Ptolemy Philadelphus) and his 
Greek court at Alexandria, and had therefore to evince 
a respect for the great Greek classic which he may not 
always have really felt. Herodotus is not, of course, 
accused of any wilful misstatement in this or in any 
other matter in which his accuracy is suspected. He 
merely wrote down what he was told by the Egyptians 
themselves, and Merpeba was sufficiently near in time 
to Aha to be easily confounded with him by the scribes 
of the Persian period, who no doubt ascribed everything 
to " Mena " that was done by the kings of the 1st and 
lid Dynasties. Therefore it may be considered quite 
probable that the " Menes " who founded Memphis was 
Merpeba, the fifth or sixth king of the 1st Dynasty, 
whom Tunure, a thousand years before the time of 
Herodotus and his informants, placed at the head of 
the Memphite " List of Sakkara." 

The reconquest of the North by Khasekhemui doubt- 
less led to a further strengthening of Memphis; and 
it is quite possible that the deeds of this king also con- 
tributed to make up the sum total of those ascribed to 
the Herodotean and Manethonian Menes. 

It may be that a town of the Northerners existed 
here before the time of the Southern Conquest, for 
Phtah, the local god of Memphis, has a very marked 
character of his own, quite different from that of Khen- 
tamenti, the Osiris of Abydos. He is always represented 
as a little bow-legged hydrocephalous dwarf very like 
the Phoenician Kabeiroi. It may be that here is another 


connection between the Northern Egyptians and the 
Semites. The name " Phtah," the " Opener/' is defi- 
nitely Semitic. We may then regard the dwarf Phtah 
as originally a non-Egyptian god of the Northerners, 
probably Semitic in origin, and his town also as ante- 
dating the conquest. But it evidently was to the 
Southerners that Memphis owed its importance and its 
eventual promotion to the position of capital of the 
united kingdom. Then the dwarf Phtah saw himself 
rivalled by another Phtah of Southern Egyptian origin, 
w T ho had been installed at Memphis by the Southerners. 
This Phtah was a sort of modified edition of Osiris, in 
mummy-form and holding crook and whip, but with a 
refined edition of the Kabeiric head of the indigenous 
Phtah. The actual god of " the White Wall " was un- 
doubtedly confused with the dead god of the necropolis, 
whose name was Seker or Sekri (Sokari), " the Cof- 
fined.'' The original form of this deity was a mummied 
hawk upon a coffin, and it is very probable that he was 
imported from the South, like the second Phtah, at the 
time of the conquest, when the great Northern necropolis 
began to grow up as a duplicate of that at Abydos. 
Later on we find Seker confused with the ancient dwarf- 
god, and it is the latter who was afterwards chiefly 
revered as Phtah-Socharis-Osiris, the protector of the 
necropolis, the mummied Phtah being the generally rec- 
ognized ruler of the City of the White Wall. 

It is from the name of Seker that the modern Sak- 
kara takes its title. Sakkara marks the central point of 
the great Memphite necropolis, as it is the nearest point 


of the western desert to Memphis. Northwards the 
necropolis extended to Giza and Abu Roash, southwards, 
to Dashur; even the necropoles of Lisht and Medum 
may be regarded as appanages of Sakkara. At Sakkara 
itself Tjeser of the Hid Dynasty had a pyramid, which, 
as we have seen, was probably not his real tomb (which 
was the great mastaba at Bet Khallaf), but a secondary 
or sham tomb corresponding to the " tombs " of the 
earliest kings at Umm el-Ga'ab in the necropolis of 
Abydos. Many later kings, however, especially of the 
Vlth Dynasty, were actually buried at Sakkara. Their 
tombs have all been thoroughly described by their dis- 
coverer, Prof. Maspero, in his history. The last king 
of the Illd Dynasty, Snefru, was buried away down 
south at Medum, in splendid isolation, but he may 
also have had a second pyramid at Sakkara or Abu 

The kings of the IVth Dynasty were the greatest of 
the pyramid builders, and to them belong the huge edi- 
fices of Giza. The Vth Dynasty favoured Abusir, be- 
tween Giza and Sakkara; the Vlth, as we have said, 
preferred Sakkara itself. With them the end of the Old 
Kingdom and of Memphite dominion was reached; the 
sceptre fell from the hands of the Memphite kings and 
was taken up by the princes of Herakleopolis (Ahnasyet 
el-Medina, near Beni Suef, south of the Fayyum) and 
Thebes. "Where the Herakleopolite kings were buried 
we do not know; probably somewhere in the local 
necropolis of the Gebel es-Sedment, between Ahnasya 
and the Fayyum. The first Thebans (the Xlth Dy- 


nasty) were certainly buried at Thebes, but when the 
Herakleopolites had finally disappeared, and all Egypt 
was again united under one strong sceptre, the Theban 
kings seem to have been drawn northwards. They re- 
moved to the seat of the dominion of those whom they 
had supplanted, and they settled in the neighbourhood of 
Herakleopolis, near the fertile province of the Fayyum, 
and between it and Memphis. Here, in the royal for- 
tress-palace of Itht-taui, " Controlling the Two Lands," 
the kings of the XHth Dynasty lived, and they were 
buried in the necropoles of Dashur, Lisht, and Ulahun 
(Hawara), in pyramids like those of the old Memphite 
kings. These facts, of the situation of Itht-taui, of their 
burial in the southern annex of the old necropolis of 
Memphis, and of the form of their tombs (the true 
Upper Egyptian and Theban form was a rock-cut gal- 
lery and chamber driven deep into the hill), show how 
solicitous were the Amenemhats and Senusrets of the 
suffrages of Lower Egypt, how anxious they were to 
conciliate the ancient royal pride of Memphis. 

Where the kings of tlie Xlllth Dynasty and the 
Hyksos or " Shepherds " were buried, we do not know. 
The kings of the restored Theban empire were all in- 
terred at Thebes. There are, in fact, no known royal 
sepulchres between the Fayyum and Abydos. The great 
kings were mostly buried in the neighbourhood of Mem- 
phis, Abydos, and Thebes. The sepulchres of the " Mid- 
dle Empire "—the Xlth to Xlllth Dynasties— in the 
neighbourhood of the Fayyum may fairly be grouped 
with those of the same period at Dashur, which belongs 


to the necropolis of Memphis, since it is only a mile or 
two south of Sakkara. 

It is chiefly with regard to the sepulchres of the 
kings that the most momentous discoveries of recent 
years have been made— at Thebes, and at Sakkara, 
Abusir, Dashur, and Lisht, as at Abydos. For this rea- 
son we deal in succession with the finds in the necropoles 
of Abydos, Memphis, and Thebes respectively. And 
with the sepalchres of the " Old Kingdom," in the Mem- 
phite necropolis proper, we have naturally grouped those 
of the " Middle Kingdom " at Dashur, Lisht, Illahun, 
and Hawara. 

Some of these modern discoveries have been com- 
mented on and illustrated by Prof. Maspero in his great 
history. But the discoveries that have been made since 
this publication have been very important,— those at 
Abusir, indeed, of first-rate importance, though not so 
momentous as those of the tombs of the 1st and lid 
Dynasties at Abydos, already described. At Abu Roash 
and at Griza, at the northern end of the Memphite 
necropolis, several expeditions have had considerable 
success, notably those of the American Dr. Reisner, 
assisted by Mr. Mace, who excavated the royal tombs 
at Umm el-Ga'ab for Prof. Petrie, those of the German 
Drs. Steindorff and Borchardt,— the latter working for 
the DeutscJi-Orient Gesellschaft,— and those of other 
American excavators. Until the full publication of the 
results of these excavations appears, very little can be 
said about them. Many mastaba-tombs have, it is under- 
stood, been found, with interesting remains. Nothing of 


great historical importance seems to have been discov- 
ered, however. It is otherwise when we come to the 
discoveries of Messrs. Borchardt and Schafer at Abusir, 
south of Giza and north of Sakkara. At this place 
results of first-rate historical importance have been 

The main group of pyramids at Abusir consists of 
the tombs of the kings Sahura, Neferarikara, and Ne- 
user-Ra, of the Vth Dynasty. The pyramids themselves 
are smaller than those of Giza, but larger than those of 
Sakkara. In general appearance and effect they resem- 
ble those of Giza, but they are not so imposing, as the 
desert here is low. Those of Giza, Sakkara, and Dashur 
owe much of their impressiveness to the fact that they 
are placed at some height above the cultivated land. 
The excavation and planning of these pyramids were 
carried out by Messrs. Borchardt and Schafer at the 
expense of Baron von Bissing, the well-known Egyp- 
tologist of Munich, and of the Deutsch-Orient Gesell- 
schaft of Berlin. The antiquities found have been 
divided between the museujns of Berlin and Cairo. 

One of the most noteworthy discoveries was that of 
the funerary temple of Ne-user-Ra, which stood at the 
base of his pyramid. The plan is interesting, and the 
granite lotus-bud columns found are the most ancient 
yet discovered in Egypt. Much of the paving and the 
wainscoting of the walls was of fine black marble, beau- 
tifully polished. An interesting find was a basin and 
drain with lion's-head mouth, to carry away the blood 
of the sacrifices. Some sculptures in relief were dis- 


covered, including a gigantic representation of the king 
and the goddess Isis, which shows that in the early days 
of the Vth Dynasty the king and the gods were already 
depicted in exactly the same costume as they wore in 
the days of the Ramses and the Ptolemies. The hieratic 
art of Egypt had, in fact, now taken on itself the final 
outward appearance which it retained to the very 
end. There is no more of the archaism and absence 
of conventionality, which marks the art of the earliest 

We can trace by successive steps the swift devel- 
opment of Egyptian art from the rude archaism of the 
1st Dynasty to its final consummation under the Vth, 
when the conventions became fixed. In the time of 
Khasekhemui, at the beginning of the lid Dynasty, the 
archaic character of the art has already begun to wear 
off. Under the same dynasty we still have styles of 
unconventional naivete, such as the famous Statue 
" No. 1 " of the Cairo Museum, 1 bearing the names of 
Kings Hetepahaui, Neb-ra, and Neneter. But with the 
IVth Dynasty we no longer look for unconventionally. 
Prof. Petrie discovered at Abydos a small ivory statuette 
of Khufu or Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid 
of Giza. The portrait is a good one and carefully exe- 
cuted. It was not till the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty, 
indeed, that the Egyptians ceased to portray their kings 
as they really were, and gave them a purely conven- 
tional type of face. This convention, against which the 
heretical King Amenhetep IV (Akhunaten) rebelled, 

1 See illustration, p. 100. 



in order to have himself portrayed in all his real ungain- 
liness and ugliness, did not exist till long after the time 
of the IVth and Vth Dynasties. The kings of the Xllth 


About 3900 b. c. Photograph reproduced from M. de Morgan's 

Recherches, vol. i. 

Dynasty especially were most careful that their statues 
should be accurate portraits; indeed, the portraits of 
Usertsen (Senusret) III vary from a young face to an 
old one, showing that the king was faithfully depicted 
at different periods of his life. 


But the general conventions of dress and deportment 
were finally fixed under the Vth Dynasty. After this 
time we no longer have such absolutely faithful and 
original presentments as the other little ivory statuette 
found by Prof. Petrie at Abydos (now in the British 
Museum), which shows us an aged monarch of the 1st 
Dynasty. It is obvious that the features are absolutely 
true to life, and the figure wears an unconventionally 
party-coloured and bordered robe of a kind which kings 
of a later day may have worn in actual life, but which 
they would assuredly never be depicted as wearing by 
the artists of their day. To the end of Egyptian history, 
the kings, even the Roman emperors, were represented 
on the monuments clothed in the official costume of their 
ancestors of the IVth and Vth Dynasties, in the same 
manner as we see Khufu wearing his robe in the little 
figure from Abydos, and Ne-user-Ra on the great relief 
from Abusir. There are one or two exceptions, such 
as the representations of the original genius Akhunaten 
at Tell el-Amarna and the beautiful statue of Ramses II 
at Turin, in which we see these kings wearing the real 
costume of their time, but such exceptions are very 

The art of Abusir is therefore of great interest, since 
it marks the end of the development of the priestly art. 
Secular art might develop as it liked, though the crys- 
tallizing influence of the ecclesiastical canon is always 
evident here also. But henceforward it was an impiety, 
which only an Akhunaten could commit, to depict a 
king or a god on the walls of a temple otherwise (except 


so far as the portrait was concerned) than as he had 
been depicted in the time of the Vth Dynasty. 

Other buildings have been excavated by the Germans 
at Abusir, notably the usual town of mastaba-tombs 
belonging to the chief dignitaries of the reign, which 
is always found at the foot of a royal pyramid of this 
period. Another building of the highest interest, be- 
longing to the same age, was also excavated, and its 
true character was determined. This is a building at 
a place called er-Righa or Abu Ghuraib, " Father of 
Crows/' between Abusir and Giza. It was formerly 
supposed to be a pyramid, but the German excavations 
have shown that it is really a temple of the Sun-god 
Ra of Heliopolis, specially venerated by the kings of the 
Vth Dynasty, who were of Heliopolitan origin. The 
great pyramid-builders of the IVth Dynasty seem to 
have been the last true Memphites. At the end of the 
reign of Shepseskaf, the last monarch of the dynasty, 
the sceptre passed to a Heliopolitan family. The fol- 
lowing VTth Dynasty may again have been Memphite, 
but this is uncertain. The capital continued to be 
Memphis, and from the beginning of the Hid Dynasty 
to the end of the Old Kingdom and the rise of Herakle- 
opolis and Thebes, Memphis remained the chief city of 

The Heliopolitans were naturally the servants of 
the Sim-god above all other gods, and they were the 
first to call themselves " Sons of the Sun," a title re- 
tained by the Pharaohs throughout all subsequent his- 
tory. It was Ne-user-Ra who built the Sim-temple of 


Abu Ghuraib, on the edge of the desert, north of his 
pyramid and those of his two immediate predecessors 
at Abusir. As now laid bare by the excavations of 1900, 
it is seen to consist of an artificial mound, with a great 
court in front to the eastward. On the mound was 
erected a truncated obelisk, the stone emblem of the 
Sun-god. The worshippers in the court below looked 
towards the Sun's stone erected upon its mound in the 
west, the quarter of the sun's setting; for the Sun-god 
of Heliopolis was primarily the setting sun, Tum-Ra, 
not Ra Harmachis, the rising sun, whose emblem is the 
Great Sphinx at Giza, which looks towards the east. 
The sacred emblem of the Heliopolitan Sun-god reminds 
us forcibly of the Semitic bethels or baetyli, the sacred 
stones of Palestine, and may give yet another hint of 
the Semitic origin of the Heliopolitan cult. In the court 
of the temple is a huge circular altar of fine alabaster, 
several feet across, on which slain oxen were offered 
to the Sun, and behind this, at the eastern end of the 
court, are six great basins of the same stone, over which 
the beasts were slain, with drains running out of them 
by which their blood was carried away. This temple 
is a most interesting monument of the civilization of 
the " Old Kingdom " at the time of the Vth Dynasty. 

At Sakkara itself, which lies a short distance south 
of Abusir, no new royal tombs have, as has been said, 
been discovered of late years. But a great deal of work 
has been done among the private mastaba-tombs by the 
officers of the Service des Antiquites, which reserves to 
itself the right of excavation here and at Dashur. The 


mastaba of the sage and writer Kagemna (or rather 
Gemnika, " I-have-f ound-a-ghost, " which sounds very 
like an American Indian appellation) is very fine. 
" I-have-f ound-a-ghost " lived in the reign of the king 
Tatkara Assa, the " Tancheres " of Manetho, and he 
wrote maxims like his great contemporary Phtahhetep 
(" Offered to Phtah"), who was also buried at Sakkara. 
The officials of the Service des Antiquites who cleaned 
the tomb unluckily misread his name Ka-bi-n (an impos- 
sible form which could only mean, literally translated, 
" Ghost-soul-of " or " Ghost-soul-to-me "), and they 
have placed it in this form over the entrance to his tomb. 
This mastaba, like those, already known, of Mereruka 
(sometimes misnamed " Mera ") and the famous Ti, 
both also at Sakkara, contains a large number of cham- 
bers, ornamented with reliefs. In the vicinity M. Gre- 
baut, then Director of the Service of Antiquities, dis- 
covered a very interesting Street of Tombs, a regular 
Via Sacra, with rows of tombs of the dignitaries of the 
Vlth Dynasty on either side of it. They are generally 
very much like one another; the workmanship of the 
reliefs is fine, and the portrait of the owner of the tomb 
is always in evidence. 

Several of the smaller mastabas have lately been dis- 
posed of to the various museums, as they are liable to 
damage if they remain where they stand; moreover, 
they are not of great value to the Museum of Cairo, 
but are of considerable value to various museums which 
do not already possess complete specimens of this class 
of tombs. A fine one, belonging to the chief Uerarina, 


is now exhibited in the Assyrian Basement of the British 
Museum; another is in the Museum of Ley den; a third 
at Berlin, and so on. Most of these are simple tombs 
of one chamber. In the centre of the rear wall we 
always see the stele or gravestone proper, built into the 
fabric of the tomb. Before this stood the low table of 
offerings with a bowl for oblations, and on either side 
a tall incense-altar. From the altar the divine smoke 
(senetr) arose when the hen-ka, or priest of the ghost 
(literally, " Ghost's Servant "), performed his duty of 
venerating the spirits of the deceased, while the Kher- 
heb, or cantor, enveloped in the mystic folds of the 
leopard-skin and with bronze incense-burner in hand, 
sang the holy litanies and spells which should propitiate 
the ghost and enable him to win his way to ultimate 
perfection in the next world. 

The stele is always in the form of a door with pyloni- 
form cornice. On either side is a figure of the deceased, 
and at the sides are carved prayers to Anubis, and at a 
later date to Osiris, who are implored to give the fune- 
rary meats and " everything good and pure on which 
the god there (as the dead man in the tomb has been 
constituted) lives; " often we find that the biography 
and list of honorary titles and dignities of the deceased 
have been added. 

Sakkara was used as a place of burial in the latest 
as well as in the earliest time. The Egyptians of the 
XXVIth Dynasty, wearied of the long decadence and 
devastating wars which had followed the glorious epoch 
of the conquering Pharaohs of the XVIIIth and XTXth 


Dynasties, turned for a new and refreshing inspiration 
to the works of the most ancient kings, when Egypt 
was a simple self-contained country, holding no inter- 
course with outside lands, bearing no outside burdens 
for the sake of pomp and glory, and knowing nothing 
of the decay and decadence which follows in the train of 
earthly power and grandeur. They deliberately turned 
their backs on the worn-out and discredited imperial 
trappings of the Thothmes and Ramses, and they took 
the supposed primitive simplicity of the Snefrus, the 
Khufus, and the Ne-user-Ras for a model and ensampler 
to their lives. It was an age of conscious and intended 
archaism, and in pursuit of the archaistic ideal the Mem- 
phites of the Saite age had themselves buried in the 
ancient necropolis of Sakkara, side by side with their 
ancestors of the time of the Vth and Vlth Dynasties. 
Several of these tombs have lately been discovered and 
opened, and fitted with modern improvements. One or 
two of them, of the Persian period, have wells (leading 
to the sepulchral chamber) of enormous depth, down 
which the modern tourist is enabled to descend by a 
spiral iron staircase. The Serapeum itself is lit with 
electricity, and in the Tombs of the Kings at Thebes 
nothing disturbs the silence but the steady thumping 
pulsation of the dynamo-engine which lights the ancient 
sepulchres of the Pharaohs. Thus do modern ideas and 
inventions help us to see and so to understand better 
the works of ancient Egypt. But it is perhaps a little 
too much like the Yankee at the Court of King Arthur. 
The interiors of the later tombs are often decorated 


with reliefs which imitate those of the early period, but 
with a kind of delicate grace which at once marks them 
for what they are, so that it is impossible to confound 
them with the genuine ancient originals from which they 
were adapted. 

Eiding from Sakkara southwards to Dashur, we pass 
on the way the gigantic stone mastaba known as the 
Mastabat el-Fara'un, " Pharaoh's Bench." This was 
considered to be the tomb of the Vth Dynasty king, 
Unas, until his pyramid was found by Prof. Maspero 
at Sakkara. From its form it might be thought to 
belong to a monarch of the Illd Dynasty, but the great 
size of the stone blocks of which it is built seems to 
point rather to the Xllth. All attempts to penetrate 
its secret by actual excavation have been unavailing. 

Further south across the desert we see from the 
Mastabat el-Fara'un four distinct pyramids, symmetri- 
cally arranged in two lines, two in each line. The two 
to the right are great stone erections of the usual type, 
like those of Giza and Abusir, and the southernmost of 
them has a peculiar broken-backed appearance, due to 
the alteration of the angle of inclination of its sides 
during construction. Further, it is covered almost to 
the ground by the original casing of polished white lime- 
stone blocks, so that it gives a very good idea of the 
original appearance of the other pyramids, which have 
lost their casing. These two pyramids very probably 
belong to kings of the Hid Dynasty, as does the Step- 
Pyramid of Sakkara. They strongly resemble the Giza 
type, and the northernmost of the two looks very like 


an understudy of the Great Pyramid. It seems to mark 
the step in the development of the royal pyramid which 
was immediately followed by the Great Pyramid. But 
no excavations have yet proved the accuracy of this 
view. Both pyramids have been entered, but nothing 
has been found in them. It is very probable that one 
of them is the second pyramid of Snefru. 

The other two pyramids, those nearest the cultiva- 
tion, are of very different appearance. They are half- 
ruined, they are black in colour, and their whole effect 
is quite different from that of the stone pyramids. For 
they are built of brick, not of stone. They are pyramids, 
it is true, but of a different material and of a different 
date from those which we have been describing. They 
are built above the sepulchres of kings of the Xllth 
Dynasty, the Theban house which transferred its resi- 
dence northwards to the neighbourhood of the ancient 
Northern capital. We have, in fact, reached the end 
of the Old Kingdom at Sakkara; at Dashur begin the 
sepulchres of the Middle Kingdom. Pyramids are still 
built, but they are not always of stone; brick is used, 
usually with stone in the interior. The general effect 
of these brick pyramids, when new, must have been 
indistinguishable from that of the stone ones, and even 
now, when it has become half -ruined, such a great brick 
pyramid as that of Usertsen (Senusret) III at Dashur 
is not without impressiveness. After all, there is no 
reason why a brick building should be less admirable 
than a stone one. And in its own way the construction 
of such colossal masses of bricks as the two eastern 



pyramids of Dashur must have been as arduous, even 
as difficult, as that of building a moderate-sized stone 
pyramid. The photograph of the brick pyramids of 
Dashur on this page shows well the great size of these 



Excavated by M. de Morgan, 1895. This is the secondary tomb 
of Amenemhat III; about 2200 b. c. 

masses of brickwork, which are as impressive as any 
of the great brick structures of Babylonia and Assyria. 
The Xllth Dynasty use of brick for the royal tombs 
was a return to the custom of earlier days, for from 
the time of Aha to that Tjeser, from the 1st Dynasty 
to the Hid, brick had been used for the building of the 


royal mastaba-tombs, out of which the pyramids had 

At this point, where we take leave of the great pyra- 
mids of the Old Kingdom, we may notice the latest the- 
ory as to the building of these monuments, which has 
of late years been enunciated by Dr. Borchardt, and is 
now generally accepted. The great Prussian explorer 
Lepsius, when he examined the pyramids in the 'forties, 
came to the conclusion that each king, when he ascended 
the throne, planned a small pyramid for himself. This 
was built in a few years' time, and if his reign were 
short, or if he were unable to enlarge the pyramid for 
other reasons, it sufficed for his tomb. If, however, his 
reign seemed likely to be one of some length, after the 
first plan was completed he enlarged his pyramid by 
building another and a larger one around it and over 
it. Then again, when this addition was finished, and 
the king still reigned and was in possession of great 
resources, yet another coating, so to speak, was put on 
to the pyramid, and so on till colossal structures like 
the First and Second Pyramid of Giza, which, we know, 
belonged to kings who were unusually long-lived, were 
completed. And finally the aged monarch died, and was 
buried in the huge tomb which his long life and his great 
power had enabled him to erect. This view appeared 
eminently reasonable at the time, and it seemed almost 
as though we ought to be able to tell whether a king 
had reigned long or not by the size of his pyramid, and 
even to obtain a rough idea of the length of his reign 
by counting the successive coats or accretions which it 



had received, much as we tell the age of a tree by the 
rings in its bole. A pyramid seemed to have been con- 
structed something after the manner of an onion or a 
Chinese puzzle-box. 

Prof. Petrie, however, who examined the Giza pyra- 
mids in 1881, and carefully measured them all up and 
finally settled their 
trigonometrical rela- 
tion, came to the 
conclusion that Lep- 
sius's theory was en- 
tirely erroneous, and 
that every pyramid 
was built and now 
stands as it was orig- 
inally planned. Dr. 


Borchardt, however, 

who is an architect by profession, has examined the 
pyramids again, and has come to the conclusion that 
Prof. Petrie 's statement is not correct, and that there 
is an element of truth in Lepsius's hypothesis. He has 
shown that several of the pyramids, notably the First 
and Second at Giza, show unmistakable signs of a 
modified, altered, and enlarged plan; in fact, long-lived 
kings like Khufu seem to have added considerably to 
their pyramids and even to have entirely remodelled 
them on a larger scale. This has certainly been the 
case with the Great Pyramid. We can, then, accept 
Lepsius's theory as modified by Dr. Borchardt. 

Another interesting point has arisen in connection 


with the Great Pyramid. Considerable difference of 
opinion has always existed between Egyptologists and 
the professors of European archaeology with regard to 
the antiquity of the knowledge of iron in Egypt. The 
majority of the Egyptologists have always maintained, 
on the authority of the inscriptions, that iron was 
known to the ancient Egyptians from the earliest 
period. They argued that the word for a certain metal 
in old Egyptian was the same as the Coptic word for 
" iron." They stated that in the most ancient religious 
texts the Egyptians spoke of the firmament of heaven 
as made of this metal, and they came to the conclusion 
that it was because this metal was blue in colour, the 
hue of iron or steel; and they further pointed out that 
some of the w T eapons in the tomb-paintings were painted 
blue and others red, some being of iron, that is to say, 
others of copper or bronze. Finally they brought for- 
ward as incontrovertible evidence an actual fragment 
of worked iron, which had been found between two 
of the inner blocks, down one of the air-shafts, in the 
Great Pyramid. Here was an actual piece of iron of 
the time of the IVth Dynasty, about 3500 b. c. 

This conclusion was never accepted by the students 
of the development of the use of metal in prehistoric 
Europe, when they came to know of it. No doubt their 
incredulity was partly due to want of appreciation of the 
Egyptological evidence, partly to disinclination to ac- 
cept a conclusion which did not at all agree with the 
knowledge they had derived from their own study of 
prehistoric Europe. In Southern Europe it was quite 


certain that iron did not come into use till about 
1000 b. c. ; in Central Europe, where the discoveries 
at Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut exhibit the transi- 
tion from the Age of Bronze to that of Iron, about 
800 b. c. The exclusively Iron Age culture of La Tene 
cannot be dated earlier than the eighth century, if as 
early as that. How then was it possible that, if iron 
had been known to the Egyptians as early as 3500 b. c, 
its knowledge should not have been communicated to 
the Europeans until over two thousand years later? 
No; iron could not have been really known to the 
Egyptians much before 1000 b. c, and the Egyptologi- 
cal evidence was all wrong. This line of argument 
was taken by the distinguished Swedish archaeologist, 
Prof. Oscar Montelius, of Upsala, whose previous ex- 
perience in dealing with the antiquities of Northern 
Europe, great as it was, was hardly sufficient to enable 
him to pronounce with authority on a point affecting 
far-away African Egypt. And when dealing with Greek 
prehistoric antiquities Prof. Montelius 's views have 
hardly met with that ready agreement which all ac- 
knowledge to be his due when he is giving us the results 
of his ripe knowledge of Northern antiquities. He has, 
in fact, forgotten, as most " prehistoric " archaeologists 
do forget, that the antiquities of Scandinavia, Greece, 
Egypt, the Semites, the bronze-workers of Benin, the 
miners of Zimbabwe, and the Ohio mound-builders are 
not to be treated all together as a whole, and that hard 
and fast lines of development cannot be laid down for 
them, based on the experience of Scandinavia. 


We may perhaps trace this misleading habit of 
thought to the influence of the professors of natural 
science over the students of Stone Age and Bronze Age 
antiquities. Because nature moves by steady progres- 
sion and develops on even lines— nihil facit per sal- 
turn— it seems to have been assumed that the works of 
man's hands have developed in the same way, in a reg- 
ular and even scheme all over the world. On this sup- 
position it would be impossible for the great discovery 
of the use of iron to have been known in Egypt as early 
as 3500 b. c, for this knowledge to have remained dor- 
mant there for two thousand years, and then to have 
been suddenly communicated about 1000 b. c. to Greece, 
spreading with lightning-like rapidity over Europe and 
displacing the use of bronze everywhere. Yet, as 
a matter of fact, the work of man does develop in 
exactly this haphazard way, by fits and starts and sud- 
den leaps of progress after millennia of stagnation. 
Throwsback to barbarism are just as frequent. The 
analogy of natural evolution is completely inapplicable 
and misleading. r 

Prof. Montelius, however, following the " evolution- 
ary " line of thought, believed that because iron was 
not known in Europe till about 1000 b. c. it could not 
have been known in Egypt much earlier; and in an 
important article which appeared in the Swedish eth- 
nological journal Ymer in 1883, entitled Bronsaldern i 
Egypt en (" The Bronze Age in Egypt "), he essayed 
to prove the contrary arguments of the Egyptologists 
wrong. His main points were that the colour of the 


weapons in the frescoes was of no importance, as it was 
purely conventional and arbitrary, and that the evi- 
dence of the piece of iron from the Great Pyramid was 
insufficiently authenticated, and therefore valueless, in 
the absence of other definite archaeological evidence in 
the shape of iron of supposed early date. To this article 
the Swedish Egyptologist, Dr. Piehl, replied in the same 
periodical, in an article entitled Bronsaldern i Egypten, 
in which he traversed Prof. Montelius's conclusions 
from the Egyptological point of view, and adduced other 
instances of the use of iron in Egypt, all, it is true, later 
than the time of the IVth Dynasty. But this protest 
received little notice, owing to the fact that it remained 
buried in a Swedish periodical, while Prof. Montelius's 
original article was translated into French, and so be- 
came well-known. 

For the time Prof. Montelius's conclusions were gen- 
erally accepted, and when the discoveries of the prehis- 
toric antiquities were made by M. de Morgan, it seemed 
more probable than ever that Egypt had gone through 
a regular progressive development from the Age of 
Stone through those of copper and bronze to that of 
iron, which was reached about 1100 or 1000 b. c. The 
evidence of the iron fragment from the Great Pyramid 
was put on one side, in spite of the circumstantial 
account of its discovery which had been given by its 
finders. Even Prof. Petrie, who in 1881 had accepted 
the pyramid fragment as undoubtedly contemporary 
with that building, and had gone so far as to adduce 
additional evidence for its authenticity, gave way, and 


accepted Montelius's view, which held its own until 
in 1902 it was directly controverted by a discovery of 
Prof. Petrie at Abydos. This discovery consisted of 
an undoubted fragment of iron found in conjunction 
with bronze tools of Vlth Dynasty date; and it settled 
the matter. 1 The Vlth Dynasty date of this piece of 
iron, which was more probably worked than not (since 
it was buried with tools), was held to be undoubted 
by its discoverer and by everybody else, and, if this 
were undoubted, the IVth Dynasty date of the Great 
Pyramid fragment was also fully established. The dis- 
coverers of the earlier fragment had no doubt whatever 
as to its being contemporary with the pyramid, and 
were supported in this by Prof. Petrie in 1881. There- 
fore it is now known to be the fact that iron was used 
by the Egyptians as early as 3500 b. c. 2 

It would thus appear that though the Egyptians can- 
not be said to have used iron generally and so to have 
entered the " Iron Age " before about 1300 b. c. (reign 
of Ramses II), yet iron was well known to them and 
had been used more than occasionally by them for tools 
and building purposes as early as the time of the IVth 
Dynasty, about 3500 b. c. Certainly dated examples of 
its use occur under the IVth, VTth, and Xlllth Dynas- 
ties. Why this knowledge was not communicated to 

1 See H. R. Hall's note on " The Early Use of Iron in Egypt," in Man 
(the organ of the Anthropological Society of London), iii (1903), No. 86. 

2 Prof. Montelius objected to these conclusions in a review of the British 
Museum " Guide to the Antiquities of the Bronze Age," which was published in 
Man, 1905 (Jan.), No 7. For an answer to these objections, see Hall, ibid., 
No. 40. 


Europe before about 1000 b. c. we cannot say, nor are 
Egyptologists called upon to find the reason. So the 
Great Pyramid has played an interesting part in the 
settlement of a very important question. 

It was supposed by Prof. Petrie that the piece of 
iron from the Great Pyramid had been part of some 
arrangement employed for raising the stones into posi- 
tion. Herodotus speaks of the machines, which were 
used to raise the stones, as made of little pieces of wood. 
The generally accepted explanation of his meaning used 
to be that a small crane or similar wooden machine was 
used for hoisting the stone by means of pulley and 
rope; but M. Legrain, the director of the works of 
restoration in the Great Temple of Karnak, has ex- 
plained it differently. Among the " foundation depos- 
its " of the XVIIIth Dynasty at Der el-Bahari and 
elsewhere, beside the little plaques with the king's name 
and the model hoes and vases, was usually found an 
enigmatic wooden object like a small cradle, with two 
sides made of semicircular pieces of wood, joined along 
the curved portion by round wooden bars. M. Legrain 
has now explained this as a model of the machine used 
to raise heavy stones from tier to tier of a pyramid or 
other building, and illustrations of the method of its use 
may be found in Choisy's Art de Bdtir chez les anciens 
Egyptiens. There is little doubt that this primitive 
machine is that to which Herodotus refers as having 
been used in the erection of the pyramids. 

The later historian, Diodorus, also tells us that great 
mounds or ramps of earth were used as well, and that 


the stones were dragged up these to the requisite height. 
There is no doubt that this statement also is correct. 
We know that the Egyptians did build in this very way, 
and the system has been revived by M. Legrain for his 
work at Karnak, where still exist the remains of the 
actual mounds and ramps by which the great western 
pylon was erected in Ptolemaic times. Work carried 
on in this way is slow and expensive, but it is eminently 
suited to the country and understood by the people. If 
they wish to put a great stone architrave weighing many 
tons across the top of two columns, they do not hoist 
it up into position; they rear a great ramp or embank- 
ment of earth against the two pillars, half -burying them 
in the process, then drag the architrave up the ramp 
by means of ropes and men, and put it into position. 
Then the ramp is cleared away. This is the ancient 
system which is now followed at Karnak, and it is the 
system by which, with the further aid of the wooden ma- 
chines, the Great Pyramid and its compeers were erected 
in the days of the IVth Dynasty. Plus cela change, plus 
c'est la meme chose. r 

The brick pyramids of the Xllth Dynasty were 
erected in the same way, for the Egyptians had no 
knowledge of the modern combination of wooden scaf- 
folding and ladders. There was originally a small stone 
pyramid of the same dynasty at Dashur, half-way be- 
tween the two brick ones, but this has now almost dis- 
appeared. It belonged to the king Amenemhat II, while 
the others belonged, the northern to Usertsen (Sen- 
usret) III, the southern to Amenemhat III. Both these 


latter monarchs had other tombs elsewhere,— Usertsen 
a great rock-cut gallery and chamber in the cliff at 
Abydos, Amenemhat a pyramid not very far to the 
south, at Hawara, close to the Fayyum. It is uncertain 
whether the Hawara pyramid or that of Dashur was the 
real burial-place of the king, as at neither place is his 
name found alone. At Hawara it is found in conjunc- 
tion with that of his daughter, the queen-regnant Se- 
bekneferura (Skemiophris), at Dashur with that of a 
king Auabra Hor, who was buried in a small tomb near 
that of the king, and adjoining the tombs of the king's 
children. Who King Hor was we do not quite know. 
His name is not given in the lists, and was unknown 
until M. de Morgan's discoveries at Dashur. It is most 
probable that he was a prince who was given royal 
honours during the lifetime of Amenemhat III, whom 
he predeceased. 1 In the beautiful wooden statue of him 
found in his tomb, which is now in the Cairo Museum, 
he is represented as quite a youth. Amenemhat III 
was certainly succeeded by Amenemhat IV, and it is 
impossible to intercalate Hor between them. 

The identification of the owners of the three western 
pyramids of Dashur is due to M. de Morgan and his 
assistants, Messrs. Legrain and Jequier, who excavated 
them from 1894 till 1896. The northern pyramid, that 
of Usertsen (Senusret) m, is not so well preserved as 
the southern. It is more worn away, and does not pre- 
sent so imposing an appearance. In both pyramids 
the outer casing of white stone has entirely disap- 

1 See below, p. 121. Possibly he was a son of Amenemhat III. 


peared, leaving only the bare black bricks. Each stood 
in the midst of a great necropolis of dignitaries of the 
period, as was usually the case. Many of the mastabas 
were excavated by M. de Morgan. Some are of older 
periods than the Xllth Dynasty, one belonging to a 
priest of King Snefru, Aha-f-ka (" Ghost-fighter "), 
who bore the additional titles of " director of prophets 
and general of infantry." There were pluralists even 
in those days. And the distinction between the privy 
councillor (Geheimrat) and real privy councillor (Wirk- 
licher-Geheimrat) was quite familiar; for we find it 
actually made, many an old Egyptian officially priding 
himself in his tomb on having been a real privy coun- 
cillor! The Egyptian bureaucracy was already ancient 
and had its survivals and its anomalies even as early 
as the time of the pyramid-builders. 

In front of the pyramid of Usertsen (Senusret) HI 
at one time stood the usual funerary temple, but it has 
been totally destroyed. By the side of the pyramid 
were buried some of the princesses of the royal family, 
in a series of tombs opening out of a subterranean 
gallery, and in this gallery were found the wonderful 
jewels of the princesses Sit-hathor and Merit, which are 
among the greatest treasures of the Cairo Museum. 
Those who have not seen them can obtain a perfect 
idea of their appearance from the beautiful water- 
colour paintings of them by M. Legrain, which are 
published in M. de Morgan's work on the " Pouilles a 
Dahchour " (Vienna, 1895). Altogether one hundred 
and seven objects w 7 ere recovered, consisting of all 


kinds of jewelry in gold and coloured stones. Among 
the most beautiful are the great " pectorals/' or breast- 
ornaments, in the shape of pylons, with the names of 
Usertsen II, Usertsen III, and Amenemhat III; the 
names are surrounded by hawks standing on the sign 
for gold, gryphons, figures of the king striking down 
enemies, etc., all in cloisonne work, with beautiful 
stones such as lapis lazuli, green felspar, and carnelian 
taking the place of coloured enamels. The massive 
chains of golden beads and cowries are also very re- 
markable. These treasures had been buried in boxes 
in the floor of the subterranean gallery, and had luck- 
ily escaped the notice of plunderers, and so by a 
fortunate chance have survived to tell us what 
the Egyptian jewellers could do in the days of the 
Xllth Dynasty. Here also were found two great Nile 
barges, full-sized boats, with their oars and other gear 
complete. They also may be seen in the Museum of 
Cairo. It can only be supposed that they had served 
as the biers of the royal mummies, and had been 
brought up in state on sledges. The actual royal cham- 
ber was not found, although a subterranean gallery was 
driven beneath the centre of the pyramid. 

The southern brick pyramid was constructed in the 
same way as the northern one. At the side of it were 
also found the tombs of members of the royal house, 
including that of the king Hor, already mentioned, with 
its interesting contents. The remains of the mummy 
of this ephemeral monarch, known only from his tomb, 
were also found. The entrails of the king were placed 


in the usual " canopic jars," which were sealed with 
the seal of Amenemhat III; it is thus that we know 
that Hor died before him. In many of the inscriptions 
of this king, on his coffin and stelae, a peculiarly affected 
manner of writing the hieroglyphs is found,— the birds 
are without their legs, the snake has no tail, the bee 
no head. Birds are found without their legs in other 
inscriptions of this period; it was a temporary fashion 
and soon discarded. 

In the tomb of a princess named Nubhetep, near at 
hand, were found more jewels of the same style as those 
of Sit-hathor and Merit. The pyramid itself contained 
the usual passages and chambers, which were reached 
with much difficulty and considerable tunnelling by 
M. de Morgan. In fact, the search for the royal death- 
chambers lasted from December 5, 1894, till March 17, 
1895, when the excavators' gallery finally struck one 
of the ancient passages, which were found to be unusu- 
ally extensive, contrasting in this respect with the 
northern pyramid. The royal tomb-chamber had, of 
course, been emptied of what it contained. It must be 
remembered that, in any case, it is probable that the 
king was not actually buried here, but in the pyramid 
of Hawara. 

The pyramid of Amenemhat II, which lies between 
the two brick pyramids, was built entirely of stone. 
Nothing of it remains above ground, but the investiga- 
tion of the subterranean portions showed that it was 
remarkable for the massiveness of its stones and the 
care with which the masonry was executed. The same 


characteristics are found in the dependent tombs of the 
princesses Ha and Khnumet, in which more jewelry was 
f ound. This splendid stonework is characteristic of the 
Middle Kingdom; we find it also in the temple of Men- 
tuhetep III at Thebes. 

Some distance south of Dashur is Medum, where the 
pyramid of Sneferu reigns in solitude, and beyond this 
again is Lisht, where in the years 1894 - 6 MM. Gautier 
and Jequier excavated the pyramid of Usertsen (Sen- 
usret) I. The most remarkable find was a cache of the 
seated statues of the king in white limestone, in abso- 
lutely perfect condition. They were found lying on 
their sides, just as they had been hidden. Six figures 
of the king in the form of Osiris, with the face painted 
red, were also found. Such figures seem to have been 
regularly set up in front of a royal sepulchre; several 
were found in front of the funerary temple of Mentu- 
hetep III, Thebes, which we shall describe later. A 
fine altar of gray granite, with representations in relief 
of the nomes bringing offerings, was also recovered. 
The pyramid of Lisht itself is not built of bricks, like 
those of Dashur, but of stone. It was not, however, 
erected in so solid a fashion as those of earlier days 
at Giza or Abusir, and nothing is left of it now but 
a heap of debris. The Xllth Dynasty architects built 
walls of magnificent masonry, as we have seen, and 
there is no doubt that the stone casing of their pyramids 
was originally very fine, but the interior is of brick or 
rubble; the wonderful system of building employed by 
kings of the IVth Dynasty at Giza was not practised. 


South of Lisht is Illahun, and at the entrance to the 
province of the Fayyum, and west of this, nearer the 
Fayyum, is Hawara, where Prof. Petrie excavated the 
pyramids of Usertsen (Senusret) II and Amenem- 
hat III. His discoveries have already been described 
by Prof. Maspero in his history, so that it will suffice 
here merely to compare them with the results of M. de 
Morgan's later work at Dashur and that of MM. Gau- 
tier and Jequier at Lisht, to note recent conclusions in 
connection with them, and to describe the newest dis- 
coveries in the same region. 

Both pyramids are of brick, lined with stone, like 
those of Dashur, with some differences of internal con- 
struction, since stone walls exist in the interior. The 
central chambers and passages leading to them were 
discovered; and in both cases the passages are pecul- 
iarly complex, with dumb chambers, great stone port- 
cullises, etc., in order to mislead and block the way 
to possible plunderers. The extraordinary sepulchral 
chamber of the Ha war a pyramid, which, though it is 
over twenty-two feet long by ten feet wide over all, 
is hewn out of one solid block of hard yellow quartzite, 
gives some idea of the remarkable facility of dealing 
with huge stones and the love of utilizing them which 
is especially characteristic of the XHth Dynasty. The 
pyramid of Hawara was provided with a funerary tem- 
ple the like of which had never been known in Egypt 
before and was never known afterwards. It was a huge 
building far larger than the pyramid itself, and built 
of fine limestone and crystalline white quartzite, in a 


style eminently characteristic of the Xllth Dynasty. 
In actual superficies this temple covered an extent of 
ground within which the temples of Karnak, Luxor, 
and the Ramesseum, at Thebes, could have stood, but 
has now almost entirely disappeared, having been used 
as a quarry for two thousand years. In Roman times 
this destroying process had already begun, but even 
then the building was still magnificent, and had been 
noted with wonder by all the Greek visitors to Egypt 
from the time of Herodotus downwards. Even before 
his day it had received the name of the " Labyrinth," 
on account of its supposed resemblance to the original 
labyrinth in Crete. 

That the Hawara temple was the Egyptian labyrinth 
was pointed out by Lepsius in the 'forties of the last 
century. Within the last two or three years attention 
has again been drawn to it by Mr. Arthur Evans's dis- 
covery of the Cretan labyrinth itself in the shape of 
the Minoan or early Mycenaean palace of Knossos, near 
Candia in Crete. It is impossible to enter here into all 
the arguments by which it has been proved that the 
Knossian palace is the veritable labyrinth of the Mino- 
taur legend, nor would it be strictly germane to our 
subject were we to do so; but it may suffice to say 
here that the word \ai3vpiv6os has been proved to be of 
Greek— or rather of pre-Hellenic— origin, and would 
mean in Karian " Place of the Double- Axe," like La- 
braunda in Karia, where Zeus was depicted with a 
double axe (labrys) in his hand. The non-Aryan, 
" Asianic," group of languages, to which certainly 


Lycian and probably Karian belong, has been shown 
by the German philologer Kretschmer to have spread 
over Greece into Italy in the period before the Aryan 
Greeks entered Hellas, and to have left undoubted 
traces of its presence in Greek place-names and in the 
Greek language itself. Before the true Hellenes 
reached Crete, an Asianic dialect must have been 
spoken there, and to this language the word " laby- 
rinth " must originally have belonged. The classical 
labyrinth was " in the Knossian territory." The palace 
of Knossos was emphatically the chief seat of the wor- 
ship of a god whose emblem w r as the double-axe; it 
was the Knossian " Place of the Double- Axe," the 
Cretan " Labyrinth." 

It used to be supposed that the Cretan labyrinth 
had taken its name from the Egyptian one, and the 
word itself was supposed to be of Egyptian origin. 
An Egyptian etymology was found for it as " Bo-pi- 
ro-lienet" " Temple-mouth-canal," which might be in- 
terpreted, with some violence to Egyptian construction, 
as " The temple at the mouth of the canal," i.e. the 
Bahr Yusuf , which enters the Fayyum at Hawara. But 
unluckily this word would have been pronounced by the 
natives of the vicinity as " Elphilahune," which is not 
very much like \afivpivdos. " Ro-pi-ro-henet " is, in fact, 
a mere figment of the philological imagination, and 
cannot be proved ever to have existed. The element 
Bo-Ttenetj " canal-mouth " (according to the local pro- 
nunciation of the Fayyum and Middle Egypt, called 
La-hune), is genuine; it is the origin of the modern 


Illahun (el-Lahuri), which is situated at the " canal- 
mouth." However, now that we know that the word 
labyrinth can be explained satisfactorily with the help 
of Karian, as evidently of Greek (pre-Aryan) origin, 
and as evidently the original name of the Knossian 
labyrinth, it is obvious that there is no need to seek 
a far-fetched explanation of the word in Egypt, and 
to suppose that the Greeks called the Cretan labyrinth 
after the Egyptian one. 

The contrary is evidently the case. Greek visitors 
to Egypt found a resemblance between the great Egyp- 
tian building, with its numerous halls and corridors, 
vast in extent, and the Knossian palace. Even if very 
little of the latter was visible in the classical period, 
as seems possible, yet the site seems always to have been 
kept holy and free from later building till Roman times, 
and we know that the tradition of the mazy halls and 
corridors of the labyrinth was always clear, and was 
evidently based on a vivid reminiscence. Actually, one 
of the most prominent characteristics of the Knossian 
palace is its mazy and labyrinthine system of passages 
and chambers. The parallel between the two buildings, 
which originally caused the Greek visitors to give the 
pyramid-temple of Hawara the name of " labyrinth,'' 
has been traced still further. The white limestone walls 
and the shining portals of " Parian marble," described 
by Strabo as characteristic of the Egyptian labyrinth, 
have been compared with the shining white selenite or 
gypsum used at Knossos, and certain general resem- 
blances between the Greek architecture of the Minoan 


age and the almost contemporary Egyptian architecture 
of the Xllth Dynasty have been pointed out. 1 Such 
resemblances may go to swell the amount of evidence 
already known, which tells us that there was a close 
connection between Egyptian and Minoan art and civ- 
ilization, established at least as early as 2500 b. c. 

For it must be remembered that within the last few 
years we have learned from the excavations in Crete a 
new chapter of ancient history, which, it might almost 
seem, shows us Greece and Egypt in regular communica- 
tion from nearly the beginnings of Egyptian history. 
As the excavations which have told us this were carried 
on in Crete, not in Egypt, to describe them does not lie 
within the scope of this book, though a short sketch of 
their results, so far as they affect Egyptian history in 
later days, is given in Chapter VII. Here it may suffice 
to say that, as far as the early period is concerned, 
Egypt and Crete were certainly in communication in 
the time of the Xllth Dynasty, and quite possibly in 
that of the Vlth or still earlier. We have Hid Dynasty 
Egyptian vases from Knossos, which were certainly not 
imported in later days, for no ancient nation had anti- 
quarian tastes till the time of the Saites in Egypt and 
of the Romans still later. In fact, this communication 
seems to go so far back in time that we are gradually 
being led to perceive the possibility that the Minoan 
culture of Greece was in its origin an offshoot from that 

1 See H. R. Hall, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1905 (Pt. ii). The Temple of 
the Sphinx at Giza may also be compared with those of Hawara and Knossos. 
It seems most probable that the Temple of the Sphinx is a XTIth Dynasty 


of primeval Egypt, probably in early Neolithic times. 
That is to say, the Neolithic Greeks and Neolithic Egyp- 
tians were both members of the same " Mediterranean " 
stock, which quite possibly may have had its origin in 
Africa, and a portion of which may have crossed the 
sea to Europe in very early times, taking with it the 
seeds of culture which in Egypt developed in the Egyp- 
tian way, in Greece in the Greek way. Actual communi- 
cation and connection may not have been maintained 
at first, and probably they were not. Prof. Petrie thinks 
otherwise, and would see in the boats painted on the 
predynastic Egyptian vases (see Chapter I) the identical 
galleys by which, in late Neolithic times, commerce be- 
tween Crete and Egypt was carried on across the Medi- 
terranean. It is certain, however, that these boats are 
ordinary little river craft, the usual Nile felukas and 
gyassas of the time; they are depicted together with 
emblems of the desert and cultivated land,— ostriches, 
antelopes, hills, and palm-trees,— and the thoroughly 
inland and Upper Egyptian character of the whole 
design springs to the eye. There can be no doubt what- 
ever that the predynastic boats were not seagoing 

It was probably not till the time of the pyramid- 
builders that connection between the Greek Mediter- 
raneans and the Nilotes was re-established. Thence- 
forward it increased, and in the time of the Xllth 
Dynasty, when the labyrinth of Amenemhat III was 
built, there seems to have been some kind of more or 
less regular communication between the two countries. 


It is certain that artistic ideas were exchanged between 
them at this period. How communication was carried 
on we do not know, but it was probably rather by way 
of Cyprus and the Syrian coast than directly across the 
open sea. We shall revert to this point when we come 
to describe the connection between Crete and Egypt in 
the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty, when Cretan ambas- 
sadors visited the Egyptian court and were depicted in 
tomb paintings at Thebes. Between the time of the 
XHth Dynasty and that of the XVIIIth this connection 
seems to have been very considerably strengthened; for 
at Knossos have been found an Egyptian statuette of 
an Egyptian named Abnub, who from his name must 
have lived about the end of the XTTTth Dynasty, and 
the top of an alabastron with the royal name of Khian, 
one of the Hyksos kings. 

Quite close to Hawara, at Illahun, in the ruins of the 
town which was built by Usertsen's workmen when they 
were building his pyramid, Prof. Petrie f ound fragments 
of pottery of types which we now know well from exca- 
vations in Crete and Cyprus, though they were then 
unknown. They are fragments of the polychrome Cre- 
tan ware called, after the name of the place where it 
was first found in Crete, Kamares ware, and of a black 
ware ornamented with small punctures, which are often 
filled up with white. This latter ware has been found 
elsewhere associated with XHIth Dynasty antiquities. 
The former is known to belong in Crete to the " early 
Minoan " period, long anterior to the " late Minoan " 
or " Palace " period, which was contemporary with the 


Egyptian XVIIIth Dynasty. We have here another 
interesting proof of a connection between Xllth Dy- 
nasty Egypt and early Minoan Crete. The later con- 
nection, under the XVIIIth and following dynasties, is 
also illustrated in the same reign by Prof. Petrie 's finds 
of late Mycenaean objects and foreign graves at Medinet 
Gurob. 1 

These excavations at Hawara, Ulahun, Kahun, and 
Gurob were carried out in the years 1887 - 9. Since then 
Prof. Petrie and his co-workers have revisited the same 
district, and Gurob has been re-examined (in 1904) by 
Messrs. Loat and Ayrton, who discovered there a shrine 
devoted to the worship of fish. This work was carried 
on at the same time as Prof. Petrie's main excavation 
for the Egypt Exploration Fund at Ahnas, or Ahnas- 
yet el-Medina, the site of the ancient Henensu, the 
Herakleopolis of the Greeks. Prof. Naville had exca- 
vated there for the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1892, 
but had not completely cleared the temple. This work 
was now taken up by Prof. Petrie, who laid the whole 
building bare. It is dedicated to Hershefi, the local 
deity of Herakleopolis. This god, who was called Ar- 
saphes by the Greeks, and identified with Herakles, was 
in fact a form of Horus with the head of a ram; his 
name means " Terrible-Face/' The greater part of the 
temple dates to the time of the XlXth Dynasty, and 
nothing of the early period is left. We know, however, 

1 One man who was buried here bore the name An-Tursha, " Pillar of the 
Tursha." The Tursha were a people of the Mediterranean, possibly Tylissians 
of Crete. 


that the Middle Kingdom was the flourishing period of 
the city of Hershefi. For a comparatively brief period, 
between the age of Memphite hegemony and that of 
Theban dominion, Herakleopolis was the capital city 
of Egypt. The kings of the IXth and Xth Dynasties 
were Herakleopolites, though we know little of them. 
One, Kheti, is said to have been a great tyrant. An- 
other, Nebkaura, is known only as a figure in the 
" Legend of the Eloquent Peasant/' a classical story 
much in vogue in later days. Another, Merikara, is a 
more real personage, for we have contemporary records 
of his days in the inscriptions of the tombs at Asyut, 
from which we see that the princes of Thebes were 
already wearing down the Northerners, in spite of the 
resistance of the adherents of Herakleopolis, among 
whom the most valiant were the chiefs of Asyut. The 
civil war eventuated in favour of Thebes, and the 
Theban Xlth Dynasty assumed the double crown. The 
sceptre passed from Memphis and the North, and Thebes 
enters upon the scene of Egyptian history. 

With this event the Nile-land also entered upon a 
new era of development. The metropolis of the king- 
dom was once more shifted to the South, and, although 
the kings of the Xllth Dynasty actually resided in the 
North, their Theban origin was never forgotten, and 
Thebes was regarded as the chief city of the country. 
The Xlth Dynasty kings actually reigned at Thebes, and 
there the later kings of the Xlllth Dynasty retired after 
the conquest of the Hyksos. The fact that with Thebes 
were associated all the heroic traditions of the struggle 


against the Hyksos ensured the final stability of the 
capital there when the hated Semites were finally driven 
out, and the national kingdom was re-established in its 
full extent from north to south. But for occasional 
intervals, as when Akhunaten held his court at Tell 
el-Amarna and Ramses II at Tanis, Thebes remained 
the national capital for six hundred years, till the time 
of the XXIId Dynasty. 

Another great change which differentiates the Middle 
Kingdom (Xlth-XIIIth Dynasties) from the Old King- 
dom was caused by Egypt's coming into contact with 
other outside nations at this period. During the whole 
history of the Old Kingdom, Egyptian relations with the 
outer world had been nil. We have some inkling of 
occasional connection with the Mediterranean peoples, 
the Ha-nebu or Northerners; we have accounts of wars 
with the people of Sinai and other Bedawin and negroes; 
and expeditions were also sent to the land of Punt 
(Somaliland) by way of the Upper Nile. But we have 
not the slightest hint of any connection with, or even 
knowledge of, the great nations of the Euphrates valley 
or the peoples of Palestine. The Babylonian king 
Naram-Sin invaded the Sinaitic peninsula (the land 
of Magan) as early as 3750 b. c, about the time of the 
Hid Egyptian Dynasty. The great King Tjeser, of that 
dynasty, also invaded Sinai, and so did Snefru, the last 
king of the dynasty. But we have no hint of any col- 
lision between Babylonians and Egyptians at that time, 
nor do either of them betray the slightest knowledge 
of one another's existence. It can hardly be that the 


two civilized peoples of the world in those days were 
really absolutely ignorant of each other, but we have 
no trace of any connection between them, other than 
the possible one before the founding of the Egyptian 

This early connection, however, is very problemati- 
cal. We have seen that there seems to be in early Egyp- 
tian civilization an element ultimately of Babylonian 
origin, and that there are two theories as to how it 
reached Egypt. One supposes that it was brought by 
a Semitic people of Arab affinities (represented by the 
modern Gallas), who crossed the Straits of Bab el-Man- 
deb and reached Egypt either by way of the Wadi 
Hammamat or by the Upper Nile. The other would 
bring it across the Isthmus of Suez to the Delta, where, 
at Heliopolis, there certainly seems to have been a set- 
tlement of a Semitic type of very ancient culture. In 
both cases we should have Semites bringing Babylonian 
culture to Egypt. This, as we may remind the reader, 
was not itself of Semitic origin, but was a development 
due to a non-Semitic people, the Sumerians as they are 
called, who, so far as we know, were the aboriginal 
inhabitants of Babylonia. The Sumerian language was 
of agglutinative type, radically distinct both from the 
pure Semitic idioms and from Egyptian. The Baby- 
lonian elements of culture which the early Semitic in- 
vaders brought with them to Egypt were, then, ulti- 
mately of Sumerian origin. Sumerian civilization had 
profoundly influenced the Semitic tribes for centuries 
before the Semitic conquest of Babylonia, and when the 


Sumerians became more and more a conquered race, 
finally amalgamating with their conquerors and losing 
their racial and linguistic individuality, they were con- 
quered by an alien race but not by an alien culture. 
For the culture of the Semites was Sumerian, the 
Semitic races owing their civilization to the Su- 
merians. That is as much as to say that a great deal 
of what we call Semitic culture is fundamentally non- 

In the earliest days, then, Egypt received elements 
of Sumerian culture through a Semitic medium, which 
introduced Semitic elements into the language of the 
people, and a Semitic racial strain. It is possible that 
both theories as to the routes of these primeval con- 
querors are true, and that two waves of Semites entered 
the Nile valley towards the close of the Neolithic period, 
one by way of the Upper Nile or Wadi Hammamat, the 
other by way of Heliopolis. 

After the reconsolidation of the Egyptian people, 
with perhaps an autocratic class of Semitic origin and 
a populace of indigenous Nilotic race, we have no trace 
of further connection with the far-away centre of Sem- 
itic culture in Babylonia till the time of the Theban 
hegemony. Under the Xllth Dynasty we see Egyptians 
in friendly relations with the Bedawin of Idumaea and 
Southern Palestine. Thus Sanehat, the younger son of 
Amenemhat I, when the death of his royal father was 
announced, fled from the new king Usertsen (Senusret) 
into Palestine, and there married the daughter of the 
chief Ammuanshi and became a Syrian chief himself, 


only finally returning to Egypt as an old man on the 
assurance of the royal pardon and favour. We have 
in the reign of Usertsen (Senusret) II the famous visit 
of the Arab chief Abisha (Abeshu') with his following 
to the court of Khnumhetep, the prince of the Oryx 
nome in Middle Egypt, as we see it depicted on the walls 
of Khnumhetep 's tomb at Beni Hasan. We see Usert- 
sen (Senusret) III invading Palestine to chastise the 
land of Sekmem and the vile Syrians. 1 

The arm of Egypt was growing longer, and its weight 
was being felt in regions where it had previously 
been entirely unknown. Eventually the collision came. 
Egypt collided with an Asiatic power, and got the worst 
of the encounter. So much the worse that the Theban 
monarchy of the Middle Kingdom was overthrown, and 
Northern Egypt was actually conquered by the Asiatic 
foreigners and ruled by a foreign house for several 
centuries. Who these conquering Hyksos, or Shepherd 
Kings, were no recent discovery has told us. An old 
idea was that they were Mongols. It was supposed that 
the remarkable faces of the, sphinxes of Tanis, now in 
the Cairo Museum, which bore the names of Hyksos 
kings, were of Mongolian type, as also those of two 
colossal royal heads discovered by M. Naville at Bu- 

1 We know of this campaign from the interesting historical stele of the gen- 
eral Sebek-khu (who took part in it), which was found during Mr. Garstang's 
excavations at Abydos, not previously referred to above. They were carried out 
in 1900, and resulted in the complete clearance of a part of the great cemetery 
which had been created during the Xllth Dynasty. The group of objects from 
the tombs of this cemetery, and those of XVIIIth Dynasty tombs also found, 
is especially valuable as showing the styles of objects in use at these two 
periods (see Garstang, el-Ardbah, 1901). 


bastis. But M. Golenischeff has now shown that these 
heads are really those of Xllth Dynasty kings, and not 
of Hyksos at all. Messrs. Newberry and Garstang have 
lately endeavoured to show that this type was foreign, 
* and probably connected with that of the Kheta, or Hit- 
tites, of Northern Syria, who came into prominence as 
enemies of Egypt at a later period. They think that 
the type was introduced into the Egyptian royal family 
by Nefret, the queen of Usertsen (Senusret) II, whom 
they suppose to have been a Hittite princess. At the 
same time they think it probable that the type was also 
that of the Hyksos, whom they consider to have been 
practically Hittites. They therefore revive the theory 
of de Cara, which connects the Hyksos with the Hittites 
and these with the Pelasgi and Tyrseni. 

This is a very interesting theory, which, when carried 
out to its logical conclusion, would connect the Hyksos 
and Hittites racially with the pre-Hellenic " Minoans " 
or Mycenaeans of Greece, as well as with the Etruscans 
of Italy. But there is little of certainty in it. It is 
by no means impossible that we may eventually come 
to know that the Hittites (Kheta, the Khatte of the 
Assyrians) and other tribes of Asia Minor were racially 
akin to the " Minoans " of Greece, but the connection 
between the Hyksos and the Hittites is to seek. The 
countenances of the Kheta on the Egyptian monuments 
of Ramses II 's time have an angular cast, and so have 
those of the Tanis sphinxes, of Queen Nefret, of the 
Bubastis statues, and the statues of Usertsen (Senu- 
sret) III and Amenemhat III. We might then suppose, 


with Messrs. Newberry and Garstang, that Nefret was 
a Kheta princess, who gave her peculiar racial traits 
to her son Usertsen (Senusret) III and his son Amenem- 
hat, were it not far more probable that the resemblance 
between this peculiar Xllth Dynasty type and the 
Kheta face is purely fortuitous. 

There is really no reason to suppose that the type of 
face presented by Nefret, Usertsen, and Amenemhat is 
not purely Egyptian. It may be seen in many a modern 
fellah, and the truth probably is that the sculptors have 
in the case of these rulers very faithfully and carefully 
depicted their portraits, and that their faces happen 
to have been of a rather hard and forbidding type. 
But, if we grant the contention of Messrs. Newberry 
and Garstang for the moment, where is the connection 
between these Xllth Dynasty kings and the Hyksos? 
All the Tanite monuments with this peculiar facial type 
which would be considered Hyksos are certainly of the 
Xllth Dynasty. The only statue of a Hyksos king, 
which was undoubtedly originally made for him and 
is not one of the Xllth Dynasty usurped, is the small 
one of Khian at Cairo, discovered by M. Naville at 
Bubastis, and this has no head. So that we have not 
the slightest idea of what a Hyksos looked like. More- 
over, the evidence of the Hyksos names which are 
known to us points in quite a different direction. The 
Kheta, or Hittites, were certainly not Semites, yet the 
Hyksos names are definitely Semitic. In fact it is most 
probable that the Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings, were, as 
the classical authorities say they were, and as their name 


(Mku-semut or Mku-shasu, " princes of the deserts " or 
" princes of the Bedawin ") also testifies, purely and 
simply Arabs. 

Now it is not a little curious that almost at the 
same time that a nomad Arab race conquered Lower 
Egypt and settled in it as rulers (just as 'Amr and the 
followers of Islam did over two thousand years later), 
another Arab race may have imposed its rule upon 
Babylonia. Yet this may have been the case; for the 
First Dynasty of Babylon, to which the famous Ham- 
murabi belonged, was very probably of Arab origin, 
to judge by the forms of some of the royal names. It 
is by no means impossible that there was some con- 
nection between these two conquests, and that both 
Babylonia and Egypt fell, in the period before the year 
2000 b. c, before some great migratory movement from 
Arabia, which overran Babylonia, Palestine, and even 
the Egyptian Delta. 

In this manner Egypt and Babylonia may have been 
brought together in common subjection to the Arab. 
We do not know whether any regular communication 
between Egypt, under Semitic rule, and Babylonia was 
now established; but we do know that during the 
Hyksos period there were considerable relations be- 
tween Egypt and over-sea Crete, and relations with 
Mesopotamia may possibly have been established. At 
any rate, when the war of liberation, which was 
directed by the princes of Thebes, was finally brought 
to a successful conclusion and the Arabs were expelled, 
we find the Egyptians a much changed nation. They 


had adopted for war the use of horse and chariot, which 
they learnt from their Semitic conquerors, whose victory 
was in all probability largely gained by their use, and, 
generally speaking, they had become much more like 
the Western Asiatic nations. Egypt was no longer iso- 
lated, for she had been forcibly brought into contact 
with the foreign world, and had learned much. She was 
no longer self-contained within her own borders. If 
the Semites could conquer her, so could she conquer 
the Semites. Armed with horse and chariot, the Egyp- 
tians went forth to battle, and their revenge was com- 
plete. All Palestine and Syria were Egyptian domains 
for five hundred years after the conquest by Thothmes I 
and III, and Ashur and Babel sent tribute to the 
Pharaoh of Egypt. 

The reaction came, and Egypt was thrown prostrate 
beneath the feet of Assyria; but her claim to dominion 
over the Western Asiatics was never abandoned, and 
was revived in all its pomp by Ptolemy Euergetes, who 
brought back in triumph to Egypt the images of the 
gods which had been removed by Assyrians and Baby- 
lonians centuries before. This claim was never allowed 
by the Asiatics, it is true, and their kings wrote to the 
proudest Pharaoh as to an absolute equal. Even the 
King of Cyprus calls the King of Egypt his brother. 
But Palestine was admitted to be an Egyptian posses- 
sion, and the Phoenicians were always energetic sup- 
porters of the Egyptian regime against the lawless 
Bedawin tribes, who were constantly intriguing with 
the Kheta or Hittite power to the north against Egypt. 


The existence of this extra-Egyptian imperial posses- 
sion meant that the eyes of the Egyptians were now 
permanently turned in the direction of Western Asia, 
with which they were henceforth in constant and inti- 
mate communication. The first Theban period and the 
Hyksos invasion, therefore, mark a turning-point in 
Egyptian history, at which we may fitly leave it for a 
time in order to turn our attention to those peoples of 
Western Asia with whom the Egyptians had now come 
into permanent contact. 

Just as new discoveries have been made in Egypt, 
which have modified our previous conception of her 
history, so also have the excavators of the ancient sites 
in the Mesopotamian valley made, during the last few 
years, far-reaching discoveries, which have enabled us 
to add to and revise much of our knowledge of the 
history of Babylonia and Assyria. In Palestine and 
the Sinaitic peninsula also the spade has been used with 
effect, but a detailed account of work in Sinai and 
Palestine falls within the limits of a description of 
Biblical discoveries rather than of this book. The fol- 
lowing chapters will therefore deal chiefly with modern 
discoveries which have told us new facts with regard 
to the history of the ancient Sumerians themselves, and 
of the Babylonians, Elamites, Kassites, and Assyrians, 
the inheritors of the ancient Sumerian civilization, 
which was older than that of Egypt, and which, as we 
have seen, probably contributed somewhat to its forma- 
tion. These were the two primal civilizations of the 
ancient world. For two thousand years each marched 



upon a solitary road, without meeting the other. Even- 
tually the two roads converged. We have hitherto dealt 
with the road of the Egyptians; we now describe that 
of the Mesopotamians, up to the point of convergence. 





TN the preceding pages it has been shown how recent 
excavations in Egypt have revealed an entirely new 
chapter in the history of that country, and how, in 
consequence, our theories with regard to the origin of 
Egyptian civilization have been entirely remodelled. 
Excavations have been and are being carried out in 
Mesopotamia and the adjacent countries with no less 
enthusiasm and energy than in Egypt itself, and, al- 
though it cannot be said that they have resulted in 
any sweeping modification of our conceptions with 
regard to the origin and kinship of the early races of 
Western Asia, yet they have lately added considerably 
to our knowledge of the ancient history of the countries 
in that region of the world. This is particularly the 
case in respect of the Sumerians, who, so far as we know 
at present, were the earliest inhabitants of the fertile 
plains of Mesopotamia. The beginnings of this ancient 
people stretch back into the remote past, and their 
origin is still shrouded in the mists of antiquity. When 



first we come across tliem they have already attained 
a high level of civilization. They have built temples 
and palaces and houses of burnt and unburnt brick, and 
they have reduced their system of agriculture to a 
science, intersecting their country with canals for pur- 
poses of irrigation and to ensure a good supply of 
water to their cities. Their sculpture and pottery fur- 
nish abundant evidence that they have already attained 
a comparatively high level in the practice of the arts, 
and finally they have evolved a complicated system of 
writing which originally had its origin in picture-char- 
acters, but afterwards had been developed along pho- 
netic lines. To have attained to this pitch of culture 
argues long periods of previous development, and we 
must conclude that they had been settled in Southern 
Babylonia many centuries before the period to which 
we must assign the earliest of their remains at present 

That this people were not indigenous to Babylonia 
is highly probable, but we have little data by which 
to determine the region, from which they originally 
came. Prom the fact that they built their ziggurats, 
or temple towers, of huge masses of unburnt brick 
which rose high above the surrounding plain, and that 
their ideal was to make each " like a mountain," it 
has been argued that they were a mountain race, and 
the home from which they sprang has been sought in 
Central Asia. Other scholars have detected signs of 
their origin in their language and system of writing, 
and, from the fact that they spoke an agglutinative 


tongue and at the earliest period arranged the char- 
acters of their script in vertical lines like the Chinese, 
it has been urged that they were of Mongol extraction. 
Though a case may be made out for this hypothesis, 
it would be rash to dogmatize for or against it, and 
it is wiser to await the discovery of further material 
on which a more certain decision may be based. But 
whatever their origin, it is certain that the Sumerians 
exercised an extraordinary influence on all races with 
which, either directly or indirectly, they came in con- 
tact. The ancient inhabitants of Elam at a very early 
period adopted in principle their method of writing, and 
afterwards, living in isolation in the mountainous dis- 
tricts of Persia, developed it on lines of their own. 1 
On their invasion of Babylonia the Semites fell abso- 
lutely under Sumerian influence, and, although they 
eventually conquered and absorbed the Sumerians, their 
civilization remained Sumerian to the core. Moreover, 
by means of the Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia Su- 
merian culture continued to exert its influence on other 
and more distant races. We have already seen how 
a Babylonian element probably enters into Egyptian 
civilization through Semitic infiltration across the 
Straits of Bab el-Mandeb or by way of the Isthmus of 
Suez, and it was Sumerian culture which these Semites 
brought with them. In like manner, through the Sem- 
itic Bal ylonians, the Assyrians, the Kassites, and the 
inhabitants of Palestine and Syria, and of some parts 
of Asia Minor, Armenia, and Kurdistan, all in turn 

1 See Chap. V, p. 232 and note. 


experienced indirectly the influence of Sumerian civili- 
zation and continued in a greater or less degree to 
reproduce elements of this early culture. 

It will be seen that the influence of the Sumerians 
furnishes us with a key to much that would otherwise 
prove puzzling in the history of the early races of West- 
ern Asia. It is therefore all the more striking to recall 
the fact that but a few years ago the very existence of 
this ancient people was called in question. At that 
time the excavations in Mesopotamia had not revealed 
many traces of the race itself, and its previous existence 
had been mainly inferred from a number of Sumerian 
compositions inscribed upon Assyrian tablets found in 
the library of Ashur-bani-pal at Nineveh. These com- 
positions were furnished with Assyrian translations 
upon the tablets on which they were inscribed, and it 
was correctly argued by the late Sir Henry Rawlinson, 
the late M. Oppert, Prof. Schrader, Prof. Sayce, 
and other scholars that they were written in the lan- 
guage of the earlier inhabitants of the country whom 
the Semitic Babylonians had displaced. But M. Halevy 
started a theory to the effect that Sumerian was not a 
language at all, in the proper sense of the term, but 
was a cabalistic method of writing invented by the 
Semitic Babylonian priests. The argument on which 
the upholders of this theory mainly relied was that 
many of the phonetic values of the Sumerian signs were 
obviously derived from Semitic equivalents, and they 
hastily jumped to the conclusion that the whole lan- 
guage was similarly derived from Semitic Babylonian, 



and was, in fact, a purely arbitrary invention of the 
Babylonian priests. This theory ignored all questions 
of inherent probability, and did not attempt to explain 


Drawn up by an Assyrian scribe to assist him in his studies of 
early texts. Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 

why the Babylonian priests should have troubled them- 
selves to make such an invention and afterwards have 
stultified themselves by carefully appending Assyrian 


translations to the majority of the Sumerian compo- 
sitions which they copied out. Moreover, the nature 
of these compositions is not such as we should expect 
to find recorded in a cabalistic method of writing. 
They contain no secret lore of the Babylonian priests, 
but are merely hymns and prayers and religious com- 
positions similar to those employed by the Babylonians 
and Assvrians themselves. 

But in spite of its inherent improbabilities, M. Ha- 
levy succeeded in making many converts to his theory, 
including Prof. Friedrich Delitzsch and a number of 
the younger school of German Assyriologists. More 
conservative scholars, such as Sir Henry Rawlinson, 
M. Oppert, and Prof. Schrader, stoutly opposed the 
theory, maintaining that Sumerian was a real language 
and had been spoken by an earlier race whom the 
Semitic Babylonians had conquered; and they ex- 
plained the resemblance of some of the Sumerian values 
to Semitic roots by supposing that Sumerian had not 
been suddenly superseded by the language of the Sem- 
itic invaders of Babylonia, but that the two tongues 
had been spoken for long periods side by side and that 
each had been strongly influenced by the other. This 
very probable and sane explanation has been fully cor- 
roborated by subsequent excavations, particularly those 
that were carried out at Telloh in Southern Babylonia 
by the late M. de Sarzec. In these mounds, which 
mark the site of the ancient Sumerian city of Shirpurla, 
were found thousands of clay tablets inscribed in 
archaic characters and in the Sumerian language, prov- 


ing that it had actually been the language of the early 
inhabitants of Babylonia; while the examples of their 
art and the representations of their form and features, 
which were also afforded by the diggings at Telloh, 
proved once for all that the Sumerians were a race 
of strongly marked characteristics and could not be 
ascribed to a Semitic stock. 

The system of writing invented by the ancient Sume- 
rians was adopted by the Semitic Babylonians, who 
modified it to suit their own language. Moreover, the 
archaic forms of the characters, many of which under 
the Sumerians still retained resemblances to the pic- 
tures of objects from which they were descended, were 
considerably changed. The lines, of which they were 
originally composed, gave way to wedges, and the num- 
ber of the wedges of which each sign consisted was 
gradually diminished, so that in the time of the Assy- 
rians and the later Babylonians many of the characters 
bore small resemblance to the ancient Sumerian forms 
from which they had been derived. The reading of 
Sumerian and early Babylonian inscriptions by the late 
Assyrian scribes was therefore an accomplishment only 
to be acquired as the result of long study, and it is 
interesting to note that as an assistance to the reading 
of these early texts the scribes compiled lists of archaic 
signs. Sometimes opposite each archaic character they 
drew a picture of the object from which they imagined 
it was derived. This fact is significant as proving that 
the Assyrian scribes recognized the pictorial origin of 
cuneiform writing, but the pictures they drew opposite 



the signs are rather fanciful, and it cannot be said that 
their guesses were very successful. That we are able 

to criticize the 
theories of the 
Assyrians as to 
the origin and 
forms of the early 
characters is in 
the main due to 
M. de Sarzec's la- 
bours, from whose 
excavations many 
thousands of in- 
scriptions of the 
Sumerians have 
been recovered. 

The main re- 
sults of M. de 
Sarzec's diggings 
at Telloh have al- 
ready been de- 
scribed by M. 
Maspero in his 
history, and there- 
fore we need not 
go over them 
again, but will here confine ourselves to the results 
which have been obtained from recent excavations at 
Telloh and at other sites in Western Asia. With the 
death of M. de Sarzec, which occurred in his sixty-fifth 


Opposite each the scribe has drawn a picture of the 
object from which he imagined it was derived. Photo- 
graph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 


year, on May 31, 1901, the wonderfully successful series 
of excavations which he had carried out at Telloh was 
brought to an end. In consequence it was feared at 
the time that the French diggings on this site might 
be interrupted for a considerable period. Such an event 
would have been regretted by all those who are inter- 
ested in the early history of the East, for, in spite of 
the treasures found by M. de Sarzec in the course of 
his various campaigns, it was obvious that the site was 
far from being exhausted, and that the tells as yet 
unexplored contained inscriptions and antiquities ex- 
tending back to the very earliest periods of Sumerian 
history. The announcement which was made in 1902, 
that the French government had appointed Capt. Gaston 
Cros as the late M. de Sarzec 's successor, was therefore 
received with general satisfaction. The fact that Capt. 
Cros had already successfully carried out several diffi- 
cult topographical missions in the region of the Sahara 
was a sufficient guarantee that the new diggings would 
be conducted on a systematic and exhaustive scale. 

The new director of the French mission in Chaldaea 
arrived at Telloh in January, 1903, and one of his first 
acts was to shift the site of the mission's settlement 
from the bank of the Shatt el-Hai, where it had always 
been established in the time of M. de Sarzec, to the 
mounds where the actual digging took place. The Shatt 
el-Hai had been previously chosen as the site of the 
settlement to ensure a constant supply of water, and as 
it was more easily protected against attack by night. 
But the fact that it was an hour's ride from the diggings 


caused an unnecessary loss of time, and rendered the 
strict supervision of the diggers a matter of considerable 
difficulty. During the first season's work rough huts 
of reeds, surrounded by a wall of earth and a ditch, 
served the new expedition for its encampment among 
the mounds of Telloh, but last year these makeshift 
arrangements were superseded by a regular house built 
out of the burnt bricks which are found in abundance 
on the site. A reservoir has also been built, and car- 
avans of asses bring water in skins from the Shatt 
el-Hai to keep it filled with a constant supply of water, 
while the excellent relations which Capt. Cros has estab- 
lished with the Karagul Arabs, who occupy Telloh and 
its neighbourhood, have proved to be the best kind of 
protection for the mission engaged in scientific work 
upon the site. 

The group of mounds and hillocks, known as Telloh, 
which marks the site of the ancient Sumerian city of 
Shirpurla, is easily distinguished from the flat surround- 
ing desert. The mounds extend in a rough oval forma- 
tion running north and south, about two and a half miles 
long and one and a quarter broad. In the early spring, 
when the desert is covered with a light green verdure, 
the ruins are clearly marked out as a yellow spot in 
the surrounding green, for vegetation does not grow 
upon them. In the centre of this oval, which approxi- 
mately marks the limits of the ancient city and its 
suburbs, are four large tells or mounds running, roughly, 
north and south, their sides descending steeply on the 
east, but with their western slopes rising by easier 


undulations from the plain. These four principal tells 
are known as the ' ' Palace Tell, ' ' the " Tell of the Fruit- 
house," the " Tell of the Tablets," and the " Great 
Tell," and, rising as they do in the centre of the site, 
they mark the position of the temples and the other 
principal buildings of the city. 

An indication of the richness of the site in antiqui- 
ties was afforded to the new mission before it had 
started regular excavation and while it was yet engaged 
in levelling its encampment and surrounding it with a 
wall and ditch. The spot selected for the camp was a 
small mound to the south of the site of Telloh, and here, 
in the course of preparing the site for the encampment 
and digging the ditch, objects were found at a depth of 
less than a foot beneath the surface of the soil. These 
included daggers, copper vases, seal-cylinders, rings of 
lapis and cornelian, and pottery. M. de Sarzec had 
carried out his latest diggings in the Tell of the Tablets, 
and here Capt. Cros continued the excavations and came 
upon the remains of buildings and recovered numerous 
objects, dating principally from the period of Gudea and 
the kings of Ur. The finds included small terra-cotta 
figures, a boundary-stone of Gamil-Sin, and a new statue 
of Gudea, to which we will refer again presently. 

In the Tell of the Fruit-house M. de Sarzec had 
already discovered numbers of monuments dating from 
the earlier periods of Sumerian history before the con- 
quest and consolidation of Babylonia tinder Sargon of 
Agade, and had excavated a primitive terrace built by 
the early king Ur-Nina. Both on and around this large 


mound Capt. Cros cut an extensive series of trenches, 
and in digging to the north of the mound he found a 
number of objects, including an alabaster tablet of Ente- 
mena which had been blackened by fire. At the foot 
of the tell he found a copper helmet like those repre- 
sented on the famous Stele of Vultures discovered by 
M. de Sarzec, and among the tablets here recovered was 
one with an inscription of the time of Urukagina, which 
records the complete destruction of the city of Shirpurla 
during his reign, and will be described in greater detail 
later on in this chapter. On the mound itself a consid- 
erable area was uncovered with remains of buildings 
still in place, the use of which appears to have been 
of an industrial character. They included flights of 
steps, canals with raised banks, and basins for storing 
water. Not far off are the previously discovered wells 
of Eannadu, so that it is legitimate to suppose that 
Capt. Cros has here come upon part of the works which 
were erected at a very early period of Sumerian history 
for the distribution of water to this portion of the city. 
In the Palace Tell Capt. Cros has sunk a series of 
deep shafts to determine precisely the relations which 
the buildings of Ur-Bau and Gudea, found already on 
this part of the site, bear to each other, and to the 
building of Adad-nadin-akhe, which had been erected 
there at a much later period. From this slight sketch 
of the work carried out during the last two years at 
Telloh it will have been seen that the French mission 
in Chaldaea is at present engaged in excavations of a 
most important character, which are being conducted in 

'^- 4 



9 '.vtf *' '-I 

Obelisk of Manishtusu. 

An early Semitic king of the city of Kish in Babylonia. The 
photograph is taken from M. de Morgan's Delegation en Perse, 
Mem., t. i, pi. ix. 



a regular and scientific manner. As the area of the 
excavations marks the site of the chief city of the 
Sumerians, the diggings there have yielded and are 
yielding material of the greatest interest and value for 
the reconstruction of the early history of Chaldsea. 
After briefly describing the character and results of 
other recent excavations in Mesopotamia and the neigh- 
bouring lands, we will return to the discoveries at Telloh 
and sketch the new information they supply on the his- 
tory of the earliest inhabitants of the country. 

Another French mission that is carrying out work 
of the very greatest interest to the student of early 
Babylonian history is that which is excavating at Susa 
in Persia, under the direction of M. J. de Morgan, whose 
work on the prehistoric and early dynastic sites in 
Egypt has already been described. M. de Morgan's 
first season's digging at Susa was carried out in the 
years 1897 - 8, and the success with which he met from 
the very first, when cutting trenches in the mound 
which marks the acropolis of the ancient city, has led 
him to concentrate his main efforts in this part of 
the ruins ever since. Provisional trenches cut in the 
part of the ruins called " the Royal City," and in others 
of the mounds at Susa, indicate that many remains may 
eventually be found there dating from the period of the 
Achsemenian Kings of Persia. But it is in the mound 
of the acropolis at Susa that M. de Morgan has found 
monuments of the greatest historical interest and value, 
not only in the history of ancient Elam, but also in 
that of the earliest rulers of Chaldaea. 


In the diggings carried out during the first season's 
work on the site, an obelisk was found inscribed on four 
sides with a long text of some sixty-nine columns, writ- 
ten in Semitic Babylonian by the orders of Manishtusu, 
a very early Semitic king of the city of Kish in Baby- 
lonia. 1 The text records the purchase by the King of 
Kish of immense tracts of land situated at Kish and 
in its neighbourhood, and its length is explained by the 
fact that it enumerates full details of the size and posi- 
tion of each estate, and the numbers and some of the 
names of the dwellers on the estates who were engaged 
in their cultivation. After details have been given of 
a number of estates situated in the same neighbourhood, 
a summary is appended referring to the whole neigh- 
bourhood, and the fact is recorded that the district dealt 
with in the preceding catalogue and summary had been 
duly acquired by purchase by Manishtusu, King of Kish. 
The long text upon the obelisk is entirely taken up with 
details of the purchase of the territory, and therefore 
its subject has not any great historical value. Mention 
is made in it of two personages, one of whom may pos- 
sibly be identified with a Babylonian ruler whose name 
is known from other sources. If the proposed identi- 
fication should prove to be correct, it would enable us 
to assign a more precise date to Manishtusu than has 
hitherto been possible. One of the personages in ques- 
tion was a certain Urukagina, the son of Engilsa, patesi 
of Shirpurla, and it has been suggested that he is the 
same Urukagina who is known to have occupied the 

i See illustration. 


throne of Shirpurla, though this identification would 
bring Manishtusu down somewhat later than is prob- 
able from the general character of his inscriptions. The 
other personage mentioned in the text is the son of 
Manishtusu, named Mesalim, and there is more to be 
said for the identification of this prince with Mesilim, 
the early King of Kish, who reigned at a period anterior 
to that of Eannadu, patesi of Shirpurla. 

The mere fact of so large and important an obelisk, 
inscribed with a Semitic text by an early Babylonian 
king, being found at Susa was an indication that other 
monuments of even greater interest might be forth- 
coming from the same spot; and this impression was 
intensified when a stele of victory was found bearing 
an inscription of Naram-Sin, the early Semitic King of 
Agade, who reigned about 3750 b. c. One face of this 
stele is sculptured with a representation of the king 
conquering his enemies in a mountainous country. 1 The 
king himself wears a helmet adorned with the horns 
of a bull, and he carries his battle-axe and his bow and 
an arrow. He is nearly at the summit of a high moun- 
tain, and up its steep sides, along paths through the 
trees which clothe the mountain, climb his allies and 
warriors bearing standards and weapons. The king's 
enemies are represented suing for mercy as they turn 
to fly before him. One grasps a broken spear, while 
another, crouching before the king, has been smitten 
in the throat by an arrow from the king's bow. On 
the plain surface of the stele above the king's head may 

1 See illustration. 


be seen traces of an inscription of Naram-Sin engraved 
in three columns in the archaic characters of his period. 
From the few signs of the text that remain, we gather 
that Naram-Sin had conducted a campaign with the 
assistance of certain allied princes, including the 
Princes of Sidur, Saluni, and Lulubi, and it is not 
improbable that they are to be identified with the war- 
riors represented on the stele as climbing the mountain 
behind Naram-Sin. 

In reference to this most interesting stele of Naram- 
Sin we may here mention another inscription of this 
king, found quite recently at Susa and published only 
this year, which throws additional light on Naram-Sin 's 
allies and on the empire which he and his father Sargon 
founded. The new inscription was engraved on the base 
of a diorite statue, which had been broken to pieces so 
that only the base with a portion of the text remained. 
From this inscription we learn that Naram-Sin was the 
head of a confederation of nine chief allies, or vassal 
princes, and waged war on his enemies with their assist- 
ance. Among these nine allies of course the Princes 
of Sidur, Saluni, and Lulubi are to be included. The 
new text further records that Naram-Sin made an expe- 
dition against Magan (the Sinaitic peninsula), and 
defeated Manium, the lord of that region, and that he 
cut blocks of stone in the mountains there and trans- 
ported them to his city of Agade, where from one of 
them he made the statue on the base of which the text 
was inscribed. It w T as alreadv known from the so-called 
" Omens of Sargon and Naram-Sin " (a text inscribed 


on a clay tablet from Ashur-bani-pal's library at Nin- 
eveh which associates the deeds of these two early rulers 
with certain augural phenomena) that Naram-Sin had 
made an expedition to Sinai in the course of his reign 
and had conquered the king of the country. The new 
text gives contemporary confirmation of this assertion 
and furnishes us with additional information with re- 
gard to the name of the conquered ruler of Sinai and 
other details of the campaign. 

That monuments of such great interest to the early 
history of Chaldsea should have been found at Susa in 
Persia was sufficiently startling, but an easy explana- 
tion was at first forthcoming from the fact that Naram- 
Sin 's stele of victory had been used by the later Elamite 
king, Shutruk-Nakhkhunte, for an inscription of his 
own; this he had engraved in seven long lines along 
the great cone in front of Naram-Sin, which is probably 
intended to represent the peak of the mountain. From 
the fact that it had been used in this way by Shutruk- 
Nakhkhunte, it seemed permissible to infer that it had 
been captured in the course of a campaign and brought 
to Susa as a trophy of war. But we shall see later on 
that the existence of early Babylonian inscriptions and 
monuments in the mound of the acropolis at Susa is 
not to be explained in this way, but was due to the wide 
extension of both Sumerian and Semitic influence 
throughout Western Asia from the very earliest periods. 
This subject will be treated more fully in the chapter 
dealing with the early history of Elam. 

The upper surface of the tell of the acropolis at 



Susa for a depth of nearly two metres contains remains 
of the buildings and antiquities of the Achaemenian 
kings and others of both later and earlier dates. In 
these upper strata of the mound are found remains of 
the Arab, Sassanian, Parthian, Seleucian, and Persian 
periods, mixed indiscriminately with one another and 
with Elamite objects and materials of all ages, from 


The most northern of the mounds which now mark the site of the ancient city of Babylon ; 
used for centuries as a quarry for building materials. 


that of the earliest patesis down to that of the Susian 
kings of the seventh century b. c. The reason of this 
mixture of the remains of many races and periods is 
that the later builders on the mound made use of the 
earlier building materials which they found preserved 
within it. Along the skirts of the mound may still be 
seen the foundations of the wall which formed the prin- 
cipal defence of the acropolis in the time of Xerxes, 
and in many places not only are the foundations pre- 

" Stele of Victory " 

Stele of Naram-Sin, an early Semitic King of Agade in 
Babylonia, who reigned about B. C. 3750. From the 
photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 





served but large pieces of the wall itself still rise above 
the surface of the soil. The plan of the wall is quite 
irregular, following the contours of the mound, and, 
though it is probable that the wall was strengthened 
and defended at intervals by towers, no trace of these 
now remains. The wall is very thick and built of un- 



The group probably represents Babylon or the Babylonian king triumphing over the country's 
enemies. The Arabs regard the figure as an evil spirit, and it is pitted with the marks of 
bullets shot at it. They also smear it with filth when they can do so unobserved ; in the photo- 
graph some newly smeared filth may be seen adhering to the side of the lion. 

burnt bricks, and the system of fortification seems to 
have been extremely simple at this period. The earlier 
citadel or fortress of the city of Susa was built at the 
top of the mound and must have been a more formid- 
able stronghold than that of the Achsemenian kings, for, 
besides its walls, it had the additional protection of the 
steep slopes of the mound. 

Below the depth of two metres from the surface of 


the mound are found strata in which Elamite objects 
and materials are no longer mixed with the remains 
of later ages, but here the latest Elamite remains are 
found mingled with objects and materials dating from 
the earliest periods of Elam's history. The use of un- 
burnt bricks as the principal material for buildings 
erected on the mound in all ages has been another cause 
of this mixture of materials, for it has little power of 
resistance to water, and a considerable rain-storm will 
wash away large portions of the surface and cause the 
remains of different strata to be mixed indiscriminately 
with one another. In proportion as the trenches were 
cut deeper into the mound the strata which were laid 
bare showed remains of earlier ages than those in the 
upper layers, though here also remains of different peri- 
ods are considerably mixed. The only building that has 
hitherto been discovered at Susa by M. de Morgan, the 
ground plan of which was in a comparatively good state 
of preservation, was a small temple of the god Shu- 
shinak, and this owed its preservation to the fact that 
it was not built of unburnt brick, but was largely com- 
posed of burnt brick and plaques and tiles of enamelled 

But although the diggings of M. de Morgan at Susa 
have so far afforded little information on the subject 
of Elamite architecture, the separate objects found have 
enabled us to gain considerable knowledge of the artis- 
tic achievements of the race during the different periods 
of its existence. Moreover, the stelae and stone records 
that have been recovered present a wealth of material 



for the study of the long history of Elam and of the 
kings who ruled in Babylonia during the earliest ages. 
The most famous of M. de Morgan's recent finds is the 
long code of laws drawn up by Hammurabi, the great- 


Showing the depth in the mound to which the diggings are carried. 

est king of the First Dynasty of Babylon. 1 This was 
engraved upon a huge block of black diorite, and was 
found in the tell of the acropolis in the winter of 
1901 - 2. This document in itself has entirely revolu- 
tionized current theories as to the growth and origin 

1 It will be noted that the Babylonian dynasties are referred to throughout 
this volume as " First Dynasty," " Second Dynasty," " Third Dynasty." etc. 
They are thus distinguished from the Egyptian dynasties, the order of which is 
indicated by Roman numerals, e. g. " 1st Dynasty," " lid Dynasty," " Hid 


of the principal ancient legal codes. It proves that 
Babylonia was the f ountainhead from which many later 
races borrowed portions of their legislative systems. 
Moreover, the subjects dealt with in this code of laws 
embrace most of the different classes of the Babylonian 
people, and it regulates their duties and their relations 
to one another in their ordinary occupations and pur- 
suits. It therefore throws much light upon early Baby- 
lonian life and customs, and we shall return to it in 
the chapter dealing with these subjects. 

The American excavators at Nippur, under the di- 
rection of Mr. Haynes, have done much in the past to 
increase our knowledge of Sumerian and early Baby- 
lonian history, but the work has not been continued in 
recent years, and, unfortunately, little progress has 
been made in the publication of the material already 
accumulated. In fact, the leadership in American ex- 
cavation has passed from the University of Pennsyl- 
vania to that of Chicago. This progressive university 
has sent out an expedition, under the general direction 
of Prof. R. F. Harper (with Dr. E. J. Banks as director 
of excavations), which is doing excellent work at 
Bismya, and, although it is too early yet to expect de- 
tailed accounts of their achievements, it is clear that 
they have already met with considerable success. One 
of their recent finds consists of a white marble statue 
of an early Sumerian king named Daudu, which was 
set up in the temple of E-shar in the city of Udnun, of 
which he was ruler. From its archaic style of work- 
manship it may be placed in the earliest period of 



Sumerian history, and may be regarded as an earnest 
of what may be expected to follow from the future 
labours of Prof. Harper's expedition. 

At Para and at Abu Hatab in Babylonia, the 
Deutsch-Orient Gesellschaft, under Dr. Koldewey's di- 
rection, has excavated Sumerian and Babylonian re- 


mains of the early period. At the former site they 
unearthed the remains of many private houses and 
found some Sumerian tablets of accounts and com- 
mercial documents, but little of historical interest; and 
an inscription, which seems to have come from Abu 
Hatab, probably proves that the Sumerian name of the 
city whose site it marks was Kishurra. But the main 



centre of German activity in Babylonia is the city of 
Babylon itself, where for the last seven years Dr. Kol- 
dewey has conducted excavations, unearthing the pal- 
aces of Nebuchadnezzar II on the mound termed the 
Kasr, identifying the temple of E-sagila under the 
mound called Tell Amran ibn-Ali, tracing the course 


In the middle distance may be seen the metal trucks running on light rails which are employed 
on the work for the removal of the debris from the diggings. 

of the sacred way between E-sagila and the palace- 
mound, and excavating temples dedicated to the goddess 
Ninmakh and the god Mnib. Dr. Andrae, Dr. Kolde- 
wey's assistant, has also completed the excavation of 
the temple dedicated to Nabu at Birs Nimrud. On the 
principal mound at this spot, which marks the site of 
the ancient city of Borsippa, traces of the ziggurat, or 
temple tower, may still be seen rising from the soil, 



the temple of Nabu lying at a lower level below the 
steep slope of the mound, which is mainly made up of 
debris from the ziggurat. Dr. Andrae has recently left 
Babylonia for Assyria, where his excavations at Sher- 
ghat, the site of the ancient Assyrian city of Ashur, 


are confidently expected to throw considerable light on 
the early history of that country and the customs of the 
people, and already he has made numerous finds of con- 
siderable interest. 

Since the early spring of 1903 excavations have been 
conducted at Kuyunjik, the site of the city of Nineveh, 
by Messrs. L. W. King and R. C. Thompson on behalf 
of the Trustees of the British Museum, and have re- 


suited in the discovery of many early remains in the 
lower strata of the mound, in addition to the finding 
of new portions of the two palaces already known and 
partly excavated, the identification of a third palace, 
and the finding of an ancient temple dedicated to Nabu, 
whose existence had already been inferred from a study 
of the Assyrian inscriptions. 1 All these diggings at 



Babylon, at Ashur, and at Nineveh throw more light 
upon the history of the country during the Assyrian and 
Neo-Babylonian periods, and will be referred to later 
in the volume. Meanwhile, we will return to the 

1 It may be noted that excavations are also being actively carried on in 
Palestine at the present time. Mr. Macalister has for some years been working 
for the Palestine Exploration Fund at Gezer ; Dr. Schumacher is digging at 
Megiddo for the German Palestine Society ; and Prof. Sellin is at present 
excavating at Taanach (Ta'annak) and will shortly start work at Dothan. 
Good work on remains of later historical periods is also being carried on under 
the auspices of the Deutsch-Orient Gesellschaft at Ba'albek and in Galilee. It 
would be tempting to include here a summary of the very interesting results 



diggings described at the beginning of this chapter, 
as affording new information concerning the earliest 
periods of Chaldsean history. 

A most interesting inscription has recently been dis- 
covered by Capt. Cros at Telloh, which throws consid- 
erable light on the rivalry which existed between the 
cities of Shirpurla and Gishkhu, and at the same time 
furnishes valuable material for settling the chronology 



of the earliest rulers whose inscriptions have been found 
at Nippur and their relations to contemporary rulers 
in Shirpurla. The cities of Gishkhu and Shirpurla were 

that have recently been achieved in this fruitful field of archaeological research, 
for it is true that 4hese excavations may strictly be said to bear on the history of 
a portion of Western Asia. But the problems which they raise would more 
naturally be discussed in a work dealing with recent excavation and research in 
relation to the Bible, and to have summarized them adequately would have 
increased the size of the present volume considerably beyond its natural 
limits. They have therefore not been included within the scope of the present 



probably situated not far from one another, and their 
rivalry is typical of the history of the early city-states 
of Babylonia. The site of the latter city, as has already 
been said, is marked by the mounds of Telloh on the 
east bank of the Shatt el-Hai, the natural stream join- 
ing the Tigris and Euphrates, which has been improved 
and canalized by the dwellers in Southern Babylonia 
from the earliest period. The site of Gishkhu may be 


set with considerable probability not far to the north 
of Telloh on the opposite bank of the Shatt el-Hai. 
These two cities, situated so close to one another, exer- 
cised considerable political influence, and though less 
is known of Gishkhu than of the more famous Baby- 
lonian cities such as Ur, Erech, and Larsam, her prox- 
imity to Shirpurla gave her an importance which she 
might not otherwise have possessed. The earliest 
knowledge we possess of the relations existing between 


Gishkhu and Shirpurla refers to the reign of Mesilim, 
King of Kish, the period of whose rule may be provi- 
sionally set before that of Sargon of Agade, i. e. about 
4000 b. c. 

At this period there was rivalry between the two 
cities, in consequence of which Mesilim, King of Kish, 
was called in as arbitrator. A record of the treaty of 
delimitation that was drawn up on this occasion has 
been preserved upon the recently discovered cone of 
Entemena. This document tells us that at the command 
of the god Enlil, described as " the king of the coun- 
tries," Mngirsu, the chief god of Shirpurla, and the 
god of Gishkhu decided to draw up a line of division 
between their respective territories, and that Mesilim, 
King of Kish, acting under the direction of his own 
god Kadi, marked out the frontier and set up a stele 
between the two territories to commemorate the fixing 
of the boundary. 

This policy of fixing the boundary by arbitration 
seems to have been successful, and to have secured 
peace between Shirpurla and Gishkhu for some genera- 
tions. But after a period which cannot be accurately 
determined a certain patesi of Gishkhu, named Ush, 
was filled with ambition to extend his territory at the 
expense of Shirpurla. He therefore removed the stele 
which Mesilim had set up, and, invading the plain of 
Shirpurla, succeeded in conquering and holding a dis- 
trict named Gu-edin. But Ush's successful raid was not 
of any permanent benefit to his city, for he was in 
his turn defeated by the forces of Shirpurla, and his 


successor upon the throne, a patesi named Enakalli, 
abandoned a policy of aggression, and concluded with 
Eannadu, patesi of Shirpurla, a solemn treaty concern- 
ing the boundary between their realms, the text of 
which has been preserved to us upon the famous Stele 
of Vultures in the Louvre. 1 

According to this treaty Gu-edin was restored to 
Shirpurla, and a deep ditch was dug between the two 
territories which should permanently indicate the line of 
demarcation. The stele of Mesilim was restored to its 
place, and a second stele was inscribed and set up as 
a memorial of the new treaty. Enakalli did not negoti- 
ate the treaty on equal terms with Eannadu, for he only 
secured its ratification by consenting to pay heavy trib- 
ute in grain for the supply of the great temples of Nin- 
girsu and Nina in Shirpurla. It would appear that 
under Eannadu the power and influence of Shirpurla 
were extended over the whole of Southern Babylonia, 
and reached even to the borders of Elam. At any rate, 
it is clear that during his lifetime the city of Gishkhu 
was content to remain in a state of subjection to its 
more powerful neighbour. But it was always ready 
to seize any opportunity of asserting itself and of at- 
tempting to regain its independence. Accordingly, after 
Eannadu 's death the men of Gishkhu again took the 
offensive. At this time Urlumma, the son and successor 
of Enakalli, was on the throne of Gishkhu, and he 
organized the forces of the city and led them out to 

1 A fragment of this stele is also preserved in the British Museum. It is 
published in Cuneiform Texts in the British Museum, Pt. vii. 

Clay Memorial-tablet of Eannadu. 

One of the most powerful of the patesis or viceroys of Shirpurla. The characters of the inscription well 
illustrate the pictorial origin of the Sumerian system of writing. Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 



battle. His first act was to destroy the frontier ditches 
named after Mngirsu and Nina, the principal god and 
goddess of Shirpurla, which Eannadu, the powerful foe 
of Gishkhu, had caused to be dug. He then tore down 
the stele on which the terms of Eannadu 's treaty had 
been engraved and broke it into pieces by casting it 
into the fire, and the shrines which Eannadu had built 
near the frontier, and had consecrated to the gods of 
Shirpurla, he razed to the ground. But again Shirpurla 
in the end proved too strong for Gishkhu. The ruler 
in Shirpurla at this time was Enannadu, who had suc- 
ceeded his brother Eannadu upon the throne. He 
marched out to meet the invading forces of the men 
of Gishkhu, and a battle was fought in the territory 
of Shirpurla. According to one account, the forces of 
Shirpurla were victorious, while on the cone of Ente- 
mena no mention is made of the issue of the combat. 
The result may not have been decisive, but Enannadu's 
action at least checked Urlumma's encroachments for 
the time. 

It would appear that the death of the reigning patesi 
in Shirpurla was always the signal for an attack upon 
that city by the men of Gishkhu. They may have hoped 
that the new ruler would prove a less successful leader 
than the last, or that the accession of a new monarch 
might give rise to internal dissensions in the city which 
would weaken Shirpurla 's power of resisting a sudden 
attack. As Eannadu 's death had encouraged Urlumma 
to lead out the men of Gishkhu, so the death of Enan- 
nadu seemed to him a good opportunity to make another 


bid for victory. But this time the result of the battle 
was not indecisive. Entemena had succeeded his father 
Enannadu, and he led out to victory the forces of Shir- 
purla. The battle was fought near the canal Lumma- 
girnun-t'a, and when the men of Gishkhu were put to 
flight they left sixty of their fellows lying dead upon 
the banks of the canal. Entemena tells us that the 
bones of these warriors were left to bleach in the open 
plain, but he seems to have buried those of the men 
of Gishkhu who fell in the pursuit, for he records that 
in five separate places he piled up burial-mounds in 
which the bodies of the slain were interred. Entemena 
was not content with merely inflicting a defeat upon 
the army of Gishkhu and driving it back within its own 
borders, for he followed up his initial advantage and 
captured the capital itself. He deposed and imprisoned 
Urlumma, and chose one of his own adherents to rule 
as patesi of Gishkhu in his stead. The man he ap- 
pointed for this high office was named Ili, and he had 
up to that time been priest in Ninab. Entemena sum- 
moned him to his presence, and, after marching in a 
triumphal procession from Girsu in the neighbourhood 
of Shirpurla to the conquered city, proceeded to invest 
him with the office of patesi of Gishkhu. 

Entemena also repaired the frontier ditches named 
after Ningirsu and Nina, which had been employed for 
purposes of irrigation as well as for marking the fron- 
tier; and he gave instructions to Ili to employ the men 
dwelling in the district of Karkar on this work, as a 
punishment for the active part they had taken in the 



recent raid into the territory of Shirpurla. Entemena 
also restored and extended the system of canals in the 
region between the Tigris and the Euphrates, lining 
one of the principal channels with stone. He thus added 



In the photograph the gate-socket is resting on its side so as to show the inscription, but 
when in use it was set flat upon the ground and partly buried below the level of the pavement 
of the building in which it was used. It was fixed at the side of a gateway and the pivot of the 
heavy gate revolved in the shallow hole or depression in its centre. As stone is not found in 
the alluvial soil of Babylonia, the blocks for gate-sockets had to be brought from great dis- 
tances and they were consequently highly prized. The kings and patesis who used them in 
their buildings generally had their names and titles engraved upon them, and they thus form a 
valuable class of inscriptions for the study of the early history. Photograph by Messrs. Man- 
sell & Co. 

greatly to the wealth of Shirpurla by increasing the 
area of territory under cultivation, and he continued 


to exercise authority in Gishkliu by means of officers 
appointed by himself. A record of his victory over Gish- 
kliu was inscribed by Entemena upon a number of clay 
cones, that the fame of it might be preserved in future 
days to the honour of Ningirsu and the goddess Nina. 
He ends this record with a prayer for the preservation 
of the frontier. If ever in time to come the men of 
Gishkhu should break out across the frontier-ditch of 
Ningirsu, or the frontier-ditch of Nina, in order to seize 
or lay waste the lands of Shirpurla, whether they be 
men of the city of Gishkhu itself or men of the moun- 
tains, he prays that Enlil may destroy them and that 
Ningirsu may lay his curse upon them; and if ever the 
warriors of his own city should be called upon to defend 
it, he prays that they may be full of courage and ardour 
for their task. 

The greater part of this information with regard to 
the struggles between Gishkhu and Shirpurla, between 
the period of Mesilim, King of Kish, and that of Ente- 
mena, is supplied by the inscription of the latter ruler 
which has been found written around a small cone of 


clay. There is little doubt that the text was also en- 
graved by the orders of Entemena upon a stone stele 
which was set up, like those of Mesilim and Eannadu, 
upon the frontier. Other copies of the inscription were 
probably engraved and erected in the cities of Gishkhu 
and Shirpurla, and to ensure the preservation of the 
record Entemena probably had numerous copies of it 
made upon small cones of clay which were preserved 
and possibly buried in the structure of the temples of 


Shirpurla. Entemena's foresight in this matter has 
been justified by results, for, while his great memorials 
of stone have perished, the preservation of one of his 
small cones has sufficed to make known to later ages 
his own and his forefathers' prowess in their continual 
contests with their ancient rival Gishkhu. 

After the reign of Entemena we have little informa- 
tion with regard to the relations between Gishkhu and 
Shirpurla, though it is probable that the effects of his 
decisive victory continued to exercise a moderating in- 
fluence on Gishkhu 's desire for expansion and secured 
a period of peaceful development for Shirpurla with- 
out the continual fear of encroachments on the part of 
her turbulent neighbour. We may assume that this 
period of tranquillity continued during the reigns of 
Enannadu II, Enlitarzi, and Lugal-anda, but, when in 
the reign of Urukagina the men of Gishkhu once more 
emerge from their temporary obscurity, they appear 
as the authors of deeds of rapine and bloodshed com- 
mitted on a scale that was rare even in that primitive 

In the earlier stages of their rivalry Gishkhu had 
always been defeated, or at any rate checked, in her 
actual conflicts with Shirpurla. When taking the ag- 
gressive the men of Gishkhu seem generally to have 
confined themselves to the seizure of territory, such as 
the district of Gu-edin, which was situated on the west- 
ern bank of the Shatt el-Hai and divided from their own 
lands only by the frontier-ditch. If they ever actually 
crossed the Shatt el-Hai and raided the lands on its 


eastern bank, they never ventured to attack the city 
of Shirpurla itself. And, although their raids were 
attended with some success in their initial stages, the 
ruling patesis of Shirpurla were always strong enough 
to check them; and on most occasions they carried the 
war into the territory of Gishkhu, with the result that 
they readjusted the boundary on their own terms. But 
it would appear that all these primitive Chaldean cities 
were subject to alternate periods of expansion and de- 
feat, and Shirpurla was not an exception to the rule. 
It was probably not due so much to Urukagina's per- 
sonal qualities or defects as a leader that Shirpurla suf- 
fered the greatest reverse in her history during his 
reign, but rather to Gishkhu 's gradual increase in power 
at a time when Shirpurla herself remained inactive, pos- 
sibly lulled into a false sense of security by the memory 
of her victories in the past. Whatever may have been 
the cause of Gishkhu 's final triumph, it is certain that 
it took place in Urukagina's reign, and that for many 
years afterwards the hegemony of Southern Babylonia 
remained in her hands, while Shirpurla for a long period 
passed completely out of existence as an independent 
or semi-independent state. 

The evidence of the catastrophe that befell Shirpurla 
at this period is furnished by a small clay tablet recently 
found at Tell oh during Captain Cros's excavations on 
that site. The document on which the facts in question 
are recorded had no official character, and in all prob- 
ability it had not been stored in any library or record 
chamber. The actual spot at Telloh where it was found 


was to the north of the mound in which the most ancient 
buildings have been recovered, and at the depth of two 
metres below the surface. No other tablets appear to 
have been found near it, but that fact in itself would 
not be sufficient evidence on which to base any theory 
as to its not having originally formed part of the ar- 
chives of the city. Its unofficial character is attested by 
the form of the tablet and the manner in which the 
information upon it is arranged. In shape there is little 
to distinguish the document from the tablets of accounts 
inscribed in the reign of Urukagina, great numbers of 
which have been found recently at Telloh. Roughly 
square in shape, its edges are slightly convex, and the 
text is inscribed in a series of narrow columns upon both 
the obverse and the reverse. The text itself is not a 
carefully arranged composition, such as are the votive 
and historical inscriptions of early Sumerian rulers. It 
consists of a series of short sentences enumerating 
briefly and without detail the separate deeds of violence 
and sacrilege performed by the men of Gishkhu after 
their capture of the city. It is little more than a cata- 
logue or list of the shrines and temples destroyed during 
the sack of the city, or defiled by the blood of the men 
of Shirpurla who were slain therein. No mention is 
made in the list of the palace of the Urukagina, or of 
any secular building, or of the dwellings of the citizens 
themselves. There is little doubt that these also were 
despoiled and destroyed by the victorious enemy, but 
the writer of the tablet is not concerned for the moment 
with the fate of his city or his fellow citizens. He 


appears to be overcome with the thought of the deeds 
of sacrilege committed against his gods; his mind is 
entirely taken up with the magnitude of the insult 
offered to the god Ningirsu, the city-god of Shirpurla. 
His bare enumeration of the deeds of sacrilege and vio- 
lence loses little by its brevity, and, when he has ended 
the list of his accusations against the men of Gishkhu, 
he curses the goddess to whose influence he attributes 
their success. 

No composition at all like this document has yet been 
recovered, and as it is not very long we may here give 
a translation of the text. It will be seen that the writer 
plunges at once into the subject of his charges against 
the men of Gishkhu. No historical resume prefaces his 
accusations, and he gives no hint of the circumstances 
that have rendered their delivery possible. The temples 
of his city have been profaned and destroyed, and his 
indignation finds vent in a mere enumeration of their 
titles. To his mind the facts need no comment, for to 
him it is barely conceivable that such sacred places of 
ancient worship should have been defiled. He launches 
his indictment against Gishkhu in the following terms: 
" The men of Gishkhu have set fire to the temple of 
E-ki [...], they have set fire to Antashura, and they 
have carried away the silver and the precious stones 
therefrom! They have shed blood in the palace of 
Tirash, they have shed blood in Abzubanda, they have 
shed blood in the shrine of Enlil and in the shrine of 
the Sun-god, they have shed blood in Akhush, and they 
have carried away the silver and the precious stones 


therefrom! They have shed blood in the Gikana of the 
sacred grove of the goddess Ninmakh, and they have 
carried away the silver and the precious stones there- 
from! They have shed blood in Baga, and they have 
carried away the silver and the precious stones there- 
from! They have shed blood in Abzu-ega, they have 
set fire to the temple of Gatumdug, and they have car- 
ried away the silver and the precious stones therefrom, 
and have destroyed her statue! They have set fire to 
the ... of the temple E-anna of the goddess Ninni, and 
they have carried away the silver and the precious 
stones therefrom, and have destroyed her statue! They 
have shed blood in Shapada, and they have carried away 
the silver and precious stones therefrom! They have 
... in Khenda, they have shed blood in the temple 
of Mndar in the town of Kiab, and they have carried 
away the silver and the precious stones therefrom! 
They have set fire to the temple of Dumuzi-abzu in the 
town of Kinunir, and they have carried away the silver 
and the precious stones therefrom! They have set fire 
to the temple of Lugaluru, and they have carried away 
the silver and the precious stones therefrom! They have 
shed blood in E-engura, the temple of the goddess Nina, 
and they have carried away the silver and the precious 
stones therefrom! They have shed blood in Sag . . . , 
the temple of Amageshtin, and the silver and the pre- 
cious stones of Amageshtin have they carried away! 
They have removed the grain from Ginarbaniru, the 
field of the god Ningirsu, so much of it as was under 
cultivation! The men of Gishkhu, by the despoiling of 


Skirpurla, have committed a transgression against the 
god Ningirsu! The power that is come unto them, from 
them shall be taken away! Of transgression on the part 
of Urukagina, King of Girsu, there is none. As for 
Lugalzaggisi, patesi of Gishkku, may kis goddess Ni- 
daba bear on ker kead (tke weigkt of) tkis trans- 
gression! " 

Suck is tke account, wkick kas come down to us from 
tke rougk tablet of some unknown scribe, of tke greatest 
misfortune experienced by Skirpurla during tke long 
course of ker kistory. Many of tke great temples men- 
tioned in tke text as among tkose wkick were burnt 
down and despoiled of tkeir treasures are referred to 
more tkan once in tke votive and kistorical inscriptions 
of earlier rulers of Skirpurla, wko occupied tke tkrone 
before tke ill-fated Urukagina. Tke names of some of 
tkem, too, are to be found in tke texts of tke later pate- 
sis of tkat city, so tkat it may be concluded tkat in 
course of time tkey were rebuilt and restored to tkeir 
former splendour. But there is no doubt tkat tke de- 
spoiling and partial destruction of Skirpurla in tke reign 
of Urukagina kad a lasting effect upon tke fortunes of 
tkat city, and effectively curtailed ker influence among 
tke greater cities of Soutkern Babylonia. 

We may now turn our attention to tke leader of tke 
men of Giskkku, under wkose direction tkev achieved 
their final triumph over their ancient, and for long years 
more powerful, rival Shirpurla. The writer of our tablet 
mentions his name in the closing words of his text when 
he curses him and his goddess for the destruction and 


sacrilege that they have wrought. " As for Lugalzag- 
gisi," he says, " patesi of Gishkhu, may his goddess 
Nidaba bear on her head (the weight of ) this trans- 
gression! " Now the name of Lugalzaggisi has been 
found upon a number of fragments of vases made of 
white calcite stalagmite which were discovered by Mr. 
Haynes during his excavations at Nippur. All the vases 
were engraved with the same inscription, so that it was 
possible by piecing the fragments of text together to 
obtain a more or less complete copy of the records which 
were originally engraved upon each of them. From 
these records we learned for the first time, not only the 
name of Lugalzaggisi, but the fact that he founded a 
powerful coalition of cities in Babylonia at what was 
obviously a very early period in the history of the coun- 
try. In the text he describes himself as " King of 
Erech, king of the world, the priest of Ana, the hero of 
Nidaba, the son of Ukush, patesi of Gishkhu, the hero 
of Nidaba, the man who was favourably regarded by the 
sure eye of the King of the Lands (i. e. the god Enlil) , 
the great patesi of Enlil, unto whom understanding was 
granted by Enki, the chosen of the Sun-god, the exalted 
minister of Enzu, endowed with strength by the Sun- 
god, the worshipper of Ninni, the son who was con- 
ceived by Nidaba, who was nourished by Ninkharsag 
with the milk of life, the attendant of Umu, priestess 
of Erech, the servant who was trained by Ninagidkhadu, 
the mistress of Erech, the great minister of the gods." 
Lugalzaggisi then goes on to describe the extent of his 
dominion, and he says: " When the god Enlil, the lord 


of the countries, bestowed upon Lugalzaggisi the king- 
dom of the world, and granted unto him success in the 
sight of the world, when he filled the lands with his 
power, and conquered them from the rising of the sun 
unto the setting of the same, at that time he made 
straight his path from the Lower Sea of the Tigris and 
Euphrates unto the Upper Sea, and he granted him 
dominion over all from the rising of the sun unto the 
setting of the same, so that he caused the lands to dwell 
in peace." 

Now when first the text of this inscription was pub- 
lished there existed only vague indications of the date 
to be assigned to Lugalzaggisi and the kingdom that he 
founded. It w r as clear from the titles which he bore, 
that, though Gishkhu was his native place, he had 
extended his authority far beyond that city and had 
chosen Erech as his capital. Moreover, he claimed an 
empire extending from " the Lower Sea of the Tigris 
and Euphrates unto the Upper Sea." There is no doubt 
that the Lower Sea here mentioned is the Persian Gulf, 
and it has been suggested that the Upper Sea may be 
taken to be the Mediterranean, though it may possibly 
have been Lake Van or Lake Urmi. But whichever of 
these views might be adopted, it was clear that Lugal- 
zaggisi was a great conqueror, and had achieved the 
right to assume the high-sounding title of lugal kalama, 
" king of the world." In these circumstances it was 
of the first importance for the study of primitive Chal- 
daean history and chronology to ascertain approximately 
the period at which Lugalzaggisi reigned. 


The evidence on which such a question could be 
provisionally settled was of the vaguest and most un- 
certain character, but such as it was it had to suffice, 
in the absence of more reliable data. In settling all 
problems connected with early Chaldaean chronology, 
the starting-point was, and in fact still is, the period 
of Sargon I, King of Agade, inasmuch as the date of 
his reign is settled, according to the reckoning of the 
scribes of Nabonidus, as about 3800 b. c. v It is true that 
this date has been called in question, and ingenious 
suggestions for amending it have been made by some 
writers, while others have rejected it altogether, holding 
that it merely represented a guess on the part of the 
late Babylonians and could be safely ignored in the 
chronological schemes which they brought forward. 
But nearly every fresh discovery made in the last few 
years has tended to confirm some point in the traditions 
current among the later Babylonians with regard to the 
earlier history of their country. Consequently, reliance 
may be placed with increased confidence on the truth 
of such traditions as a whole, and we may continue to 
accept those statements which yet await confirmation 
from documents more nearly contemporary with the 
early period to which they refer. It is true that such a 
date as that assigned by Nabonidus to Sargon is not to 
be regarded as absolutely fixed, for Nabonidus is obvi- 
ously speaking in round numbers, and we may allow for 
some minor inaccuracies in the calculations of his 
scribes. But it is certain that the later Babylonian 
priests and scribes had a wealth of historical material 


at their disposal which has not come down to us. We 
may therefore accept the date given by Nabonidus for 
Sargon of Agade and his son Naram-Sin as approxi- 
mately accurate, and this is also the opinion of the 
majority of writers on early Babylonian history. 

The diggings at Nippur furnished indications that 
certain inscriptions found on that site and written in a 
very archaic form of script were to be assigned to a 
period earlier than that of Sargon. One class of evi- 
dence was obtained from a careful study of the different 
levels at w r hich the inscriptions and the remains of 
buildings were found. At a comparatively deep level 
in the mound inscriptions of Sargon himself w r ere recov- 
ered, along with bricks stamped with the name of 
Naram-Sin, his son. It was, therefore, a reasonable 
conclusion roughly to date the particular stratum in 
which these objects were found to the period of the 
empire established by Sargon, with its centre at Agade. 
Later on excavations were carried to a lower level, and 
remains of buildings were discovered which appeared to 
belong to a still earlier period of civilization. An altar 
was found standing in a small enclosure surrounded by 
a kind of curb. Near by were two immense clay vases 
which appeared to have been placed on a ramp or in- 
clined plane leading up to the altar, and remains were 
also found of a massive brick building in w T hich w T as an 
arch of brick. No inscriptions w^ere actualty found at 
this level, but in the upper level assigned to Sargon 
were a number of texts which might very probably be 
assigned to the pre-Sargonic period. None of these were 


complete, and they had the appearance of having been 
intentionally broken into small fragments. There was 
therefore something to be said for the theory that they 
might have been inscribed by the builders of the con- 
struction in the lowest levels of the mound, and that 
they were destroyed and scattered by some conqueror 
who had laid their city in ruins. 

But all such evidence derived from noting the levels 
at which inscriptions are found is in its nature ex- 
tremely uncertain and liable to many different inter- 
pretations, especially if the strata show signs of having 
been disturbed. Where a pavement or building is still 
intact, with the inscribed bricks of the builder remain- 
ing in their original positions, conclusions may be con- 
fidently drawn with regard to the age of the building 
and its relative antiquity to the strata above and below 
it. But the strata in the lowest levels at Mppur, as we 
have seen, were not in this condition, and such evidence 
as they furnished could only be accepted if confirmed by 
independent data. Such confirmation was to be found 
by examination of the early inscriptions themselves. 

It has been remarked that most of them were broken 
into small pieces, as though by some invader of the 
country; but this was not the case with certain gate- 
sockets and great blocks of diorite which were too hard 
and big to be easily broken. Moreover, any conqueror 
of a city would be unlikely to spend time and labour 
in destroying materials which might be usefully em- 
ployed in the construction of other buildings which he 
himself might erect. Stone could not be obtained in 



the alluvial plains of Babylonia and had to be quarried 
in the mountains and brought great distances. From 
any building of his predecessors which he razed to the 
ground, an invader would therefore remove the gate- 
sockets and blocks of stone for his own use, supposing 



Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 

,he contemplated building on the site. If he left the 
city in ruins and returned to his own country, some 
subsequent king, when clearing the ruined site for build- 
ing operations, might come across the stones, and he 


would not leave them buried, but would use them for 
his own construction. And this is what actually did 
happen in the case of some of the building materials 
of one of these early kings, from the lower strata of 
Nippur. Certain of the blocks which bore the name of 
Lugalkigubnidudu had been used again by Sargon, King 
of Agade, who engraved his own name upon them with- 
out obliterating the name of the former king. 

It followed that Lugalkigubnidudu belonged to the 
pre-Sargonic period, and, although the same conclusive 
evidence was not forthcoming in the case of Lugalzag- 
gisi, he also without much hesitation was set in this 
early period, mainly on the strength of the archaic forms 
of the characters employed in his inscriptions. In fact, 
they were held to be so archaic that, not only was he 
said to have reigned before Sargon of Agade, but he 
was set in the very earliest period of Chaldaean history, 
and his empire was supposed to have been contempora- 
neous with the very earliest rulers of Shirpurla. The 
new inscription found by Captain Cros will cause this 
opinion to be considerably modified. While it corrob- 
orates the view that Lugalzaggisi is to be set in the 
pre-Sargonic period, it proves that he lived and reigned 
very shortly before him. As we have already seen, he 
was the contemporary of Urukagina, who belongs to the 
middle period of the history of Shirpurla. Lugalzag- 
gisi 's capture and sack of the city of Shirpurla was only 
one of a number of conquests which he achieved. His 
father Ukush had been merely patesi of the city of Gish- 
khu, but he himself was not content with the restricted 


sphere of authority which such a position implied, and 
he eventually succeeded in enforcing his authority over 
the greater part of Babylonia. Prom the fact that he 
styles himself King of Erech, we may conclude that he 
removed his capital from Ukush to that city, after hav- 
ing probably secured its submission by force of arms. 
In fact, his title of " king of the world " can only have 
been won as the result of many victories, and Captain 
Cros's tablet gives us a glimpse of the methods by which 
he managed to secure himself against the competition of 
any rival. The capture of Shirpurla must have been one 
of his earliest achievements, for its proximity to Gish- 
khu rendered its reduction a necessary prelude to any 
more extensive plan of conquest. But the kingdom 
which Lugalzaggisi founded cannot have endured long. 

Under Sargon of Agade, the Semites gained the 
upper hand in Babylonia, and Erech, Gishkhu, and Shir- 
purla, as well as the other ancient cities in the land, 
fell in turn under his domination and formed part of 
the extensive empire which he ruled. 

Concerning the later rulers of city-states of Baby- 
lonia which succeeded the disruption of the empire 
founded by Sargon of Agade and consolidated by 
Naram-Sin, his son, the excavations have little to tell 
us which has not already been made use of by Prof. 
Maspero in his history of this period. 1 Ur, Isin, and 

1 The tablets found at Telloh by the late M. de Sarzec, and published during 
his lifetime, fall into two main classes, which date from different periods in 
early Chaldsean history. The great majority belong to the period when the city 
of Ur held pre-eminence among the cities of Southern Babylonia, and they are 

Statue of Gudea. 

The most famous of the later patesis, or viceroys, of Shirpurla, the Sumerian city in 
Southern Babylonia now marked by the mounds of Telloh. Photograph by Messrs. 
Mansell & Co. 



Larsam succeeded one another in the position of leading 
city in Babylonia, holding Nippur, Eridu, Erech, Shir- 
purla, and the other chief cities in a condition of semi- 
dependence upon themselves. We may note that the 
true reading of the name of the founder of the dynasty 
of Ur has now been ascertained from a syllabary to be 
TTr-Engur; and an unpublished chronicle in the British 
Museum relates that his son Dungi cared greatly for the 
city of Eridu, but sacked Babylon and carried off its 
spoil, together with the treasures from E-sagila, the 
great temple of Marduk. Such episodes must have been 
common at this period when each city was striving for 
hegemony. Meanwhile, Shirpurla remained the centre 
of Sumerian influence in Babylonia, and her patesis 
were content to owe allegiance to so powerful a ruler 
as Dungi, King of Ur, while at all times exercising com- 
plete authority within their own jurisdiction. 

During the most recent diggings that have been car- 
ried out at Telloh a find of considerable value to the 
history of Sumerian art has been made. The find is also 
of great general interest, since it enables us to identify 
a portrait of Gudea, the most famous of the later Sume- 

dated in the reigns of Dungi, Bur-Sin, Gamil-Sin, and Ine-Sin. The other and 
smaller collection belongs to the earlier period of Sargon and Naram-Sin ; while 
many of the tablets found in M. de Sarzec's last diggings, which were published 
after his death, are to be set in the great gap between these two periods. Some 
of those recently discovered, which belong to the period of Dungi, contain 
memoranda concerning the supply of food for the maintenance of officials 
stopping at Shirpurla in the course of journeys in Babylonia and Elam, and 
they throw an interesting light on the close and constant communication which 
took place at this time between the great cities of Mesopotamia and the neigh- 
bouring countries. 



rian patesis. In the course of excavating the Tell of 
Tablets Captain Cros found a little seated statue made 
of diorite. It was not found in place, but upside down, 
and appeared to have been thrown with other debris 
scattered in that portion of the mound. On lifting it 



Probably situated in the neighbourhood of Telloh. The circular 
shape is very unusual, and appears to have been used only for 
survey-tablets. Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 

from the trench it was seen that the head of the statue 
was broken off, as is the case with all the other statues 
of Gudea found at Telloh. The statue bore an inscrip- 
tion of Gudea, carefully executed and well preserved, 
but it was smaller than other statues of the same ruler 
that had been already recovered, and the absence of the 
head thus robbed it of any extraordinary interest. On 


its arrival at the Louvre, M. Leon Heuzey was struck by 
its general resemblance to a Sumerian head of diorite 
formerly discovered by M. de Sarzec at Telloh, which 
has been preserved in the Louvre for many years. On 
applying the head to the newly found statue, it was 
found to fit it exactly, and to complete the monument, 
and we are thus enabled to identify the features of 
Gudea. Prom a photographic reproduction of this 
statue, it is seen that the head is larger than it should 
be, in proportion to the body, a characteristic which is 
also apparent in a small Sumerian statue preserved in 
the British Museum. 

Gudea caused many statues of himself to be made 
out of the hard diorite which he brought for that pur- 
pose from the Sinaitic peninsula, and from the inscrip- 
tions preserved upon them it is possible to ascertain the 
buildings in which they were originally placed. Thus 
one of the statues previously found was set up in the 
temple of Mnkharsag, two others in E-ninnu, the temple 
of the god Ningirsu, three more in the temple of the 
goddess Bau, one in E-anna, the temple of the goddess 
Ninni, and another in the temple of Gatumdug. The 
newly found statue of the king was made to be set up 
in the temple erected by Gudea at Girsu in honour of 
the god Ningishzida, as is recorded in the inscription 
engraved on the front of the king's robe, which reads 
as follows: 

" In the day when the god Mngirsu, the strong 
warrior of Enlil, granted unto the god Mngishzida, the 
son of Ninazu, the beloved of the gods, (the guardian- 


ship of) the foundation of the city and of the hills 
and valleys, on that day Gudea, patesi of Shirpurla, 
the just man who loveth his god, who for his master 
Ningirsu hath constructed his temple E-ninnu, called 
the shining Imgig, and his temple E-pa, the temple of 
the seven zones of heaven, and for the goddess Nina, 
the queen, his lady, hath constructed the temple Sirara- 
shum, which riseth higher than (all) the temples in the 
world, and hath constructed their temples for the great 
gods of Lagash, built for his god Ningishzida his temple 
in Girsu. Whosoever shall proclaim the god Ningirsu 
as his god, even as I proclaim him, may he do no harm 
unto the temple of my god! May he proclaim the name 
of this temple! May that man be my friend, and may 
he proclaim my name! Gudea hath made the statue, 
and i Unto - Gudea - the - builder - of - the - temple - hath 
life-been-given ' hath he called its name, and he hath 
brought it into the temple." 

The long name which Gudea gave to the statue, 
" Unto - Gudea - the - builder - of - the - temple - hath - 
life-been-given," is characteristic of the practice of the 
Sumerian patesis, who always gave long and symbolical 
names to statues, stelae, and sacred objects dedicated 
and set up in their temples. The occasion on which the 
temple was built, and this statue erected within it, seems 
to have been the investiture of the god Ningishzida with 
special and peculiar powers, and it possibly inaugurated 
his introduction into the pantheon of Shirpurla. Nin- 
gishzida is called in the inscription the son of Ninazu, 
who was the husband of the Queen of the Underworld. 


In one of his aspects lie was therefore probably a god 
of the underworld himself, and it is in this character 
that he was appointed by Ningirsu as guardian of 
the city's foundations. But " the hills and valleys " 
(i. e. the open country) were also put under his juris- 
diction, so that in another aspect he was a god of vege- 
tation. It is therefore not improbable that, like the god 
Dumuzi, or Tammuz, he was supposed to descend into 
the underworld in winter, ascending to the surface of 
the earth with the earliest green shoots of vegetation 
in the spring. 1 

A most valuable contribution has recently been made 
to our knowledge of Sumerian religion and of the light 
in which these early rulers regarded the cult and wor- 
ship of their gods, by the complete interpretation of 
the long texts inscribed upon the famous cylinders of 
Gudea, the patesi of Shirpurla, which have been pre- 
served for many years in the Louvre. These two great 
cylinders of baked clay were discovered by the late 
M. de Sarzec so long ago as the year 1877, during the 
first period of his diggings at Telloh, and, although the 
general nature of their contents has long been recog- 
nized, no complete translation of the texts inscribed 
upon them had been published until a few months ago. 
M. Thureau-Dangin, who has made the early Sumerian 
texts his special study, has devoted himself to their 
interpretation for some years past, and he has just 
issued the first part of his monograph upon them. In 
view of the importance of the texts and of the light they 

1 Cf. Thureau-Dangin, Rev. d'Assyr., vol. vi. (1904), p. 24. 


throw upon the religious beliefs and practices of the 
early Sumerians, a somewhat detailed account of their 
contents may here be given. 

The occasion on which the cylinders were made was 
the rebuilding by Gudea of E-ninnu, the great temple 
of the god Ningirsu, in the city of Shirpurla. The two 
cylinders supplement one another, one of them having 
been inscribed while the work of construction was still 
in progress, the other after the completion of the temple, 
when the god Ningirsu had been installed within his 
shrine with due pomp and ceremony. It would appear 
that Southern Babylonia had been suffering from a pro- 
longed drought, and that the water in the rivers and 
eanals had fallen, so that the crops had suffered and the 
country was threatened with famine. Gudea was at a 
loss to know by what means he might restore prosperity 
to his country, when one night he had a dream, and it 
was in consequence of this dream that he eventually 
erected one of the most sumptuously appointed of Sume- 
rian temples. By this means he secured the return of 
Ningirsu 's favour and that of the other gods, and his 
country once more enjoyed the blessings of peace and 

In the opening words of the first of his cylinders 
Gudea describes how the great gods themselves took 
counsel and decreed that he should build the temple of 
E-ninnu and thereby restore to his city the supply of 
water it had formerly enjoyed. He records that on the 
day on which the destinies were fixed in heaven and 
upon earth, Enlil, the chief of the gods, and Ningirsu, 


the city-god of Shirpurla, held converse. And Enlil, 
turning to Ningirsu, said: " In my city that which is 
fitting is not done. The stream doth not rise. The 
stream of Enlil doth not rise. The high waters shine 
not, neither do they show their splendour. The stream 
of Enlil bringeth not good water like the Tigris. Let 
the King (i. e. Ningirsu) therefore proclaim the temple. 
Let the decrees of the temple E-ninnu be made illus- 
trious in heaven and upon earth! " The great gods did 
not communicate their orders directly to Gudea, but 
conveyed their wishes to him by means of a dream. And 
while the patesi slept a vision of the night came to him, 
and he beheld a man whose stature was so great that it 
equalled the heavens and the earth. And by the crown 
he wore upon his head Gudea knew that the figure must 
be a god. And by his side was the divine eagle, the 
emblem of Shirpurla, and his feet rested upon the whirl- 
wind, and a lion was crouching upon his right hand and 
upon his left. And the figure spoke to the patesi, but 
he did not understand the meaning of the words. Then 
it seemed to Gudea that the sun rose from the earth 
and he beheld a woman holding in her hand a pure reed, 
and she carried also a tablet on which was a star of the 
heavens, and she seemed to take counsel with herself. 
And while Gudea was gazing he seemed to see a second 
man who was like a warrior; and he carried a slab of 
lapis lazuli and on it he drew out the plan of a temple. 
And before the patesi himself it seemed that a fair 
cushion was placed, and upon the cushion was set a 
mould, and within the mould was a brick, the brick of 


destiny. And on the right hand the patesi beheld an 
ass which lay upon the ground. 

Such was the dream which Gudea beheld in a vision 
of the night, and he was troubled because he could not 
interpret it. So he decided to go to the goddess Nina, 
who could divine all mysteries of the gods, and beseech 
her to tell him the meaning of the vision. But before 
applying to the goddess for her help, he thought it best 
to secure the mediation of the god Ningirsu and the 
goddess Gatumdug, in order that they should use their 
influence with Nina to induce her to reveal the inter- 
pretation of the dream. So the patesi set out to the 
temple of Ningirsu, and, having offered a sacrifice and 
poured out fresh water, he prayed to the god that his 
sister, Nina, the child of Eridu, might be prevailed upon 
to give him help. And the god hearkened to his prayer. 
Then Gudea made offerings, and before the sleeping- 
chamber of the goddess Gatumdug he offered a sacrifice 
and poured out fresh water. And he prayed to the god- 
dess, calling her his queen and the child of the pure 
heaven, who gave life to the countries and befriended 
and preserved the people or the man on whom she 
looked with favour. 

" I have no mother," cried Gudea, " but thou art 
my mother! I have no father, but thou art a father 
to me! " And the goddess Gatumdug gave ear to the 
patesi 's prayer. Thus encouraged by her favour and 
that of Ningirsu, Gudea set out for the temple of the 
goddess Nina. 

On his arrival at the temple, the patesi offered a 


sacrifice and poured out fresh water, as he had already 
done when approaching the presence of Ningirsu and 
Gatumdug. And he prayed to Nina, as the goddess who 
divines the secrets of the gods, beseeching her to inter- 
pret the vision that had been sent to him; and he then 
recounted to her the details of his dream. When the 
patesi had finished his story, the goddess addressed him 
and told him that she would explain the meaning of his 
dream to him. And this was the interpretation of the 
dream. The man whose stature was so great that it 
equalled the heavens and the earth, whose head was 
that of a god, at whose side was the divine eagle, whose 
feet rested on the whirlwind, while a lion couched on 
his right hand and on his left, was her brother, the god 
Ningirsu. And the words which he uttered were an 
order to the patesi that he should build the temple 
E-ninnu. And the sun which rose from the earth before 
the patesi was the god Ningishzida, for like the sun 
he goes forth from the earth. And the maiden who held 
a pure reed in her hand, and carried the tablet with 
the star, was her sister, the goddess Nidaba: the star 
was the pure star of the temple's construction, which 
she proclaimed. And the second man, who was like a 
warrior and carried the slab of lapis lazuli, was the god 
Nindub, and the plan of the temple which he drew was 
the plan of E-ninnu. And the brick which rested in its 
mould upon the cushion was the sacred brick of E-ninnu. 
And as for the ass which lay upon the ground, that, the 
goddess said, was the patesi himself. 

Having interpreted the meaning of the dream, the 


goddess Nina proceeded to give Gudea instruction as 
to how he should go to work to build the temple. She 
told him first of all to go to his treasure-house and bring 
forth his treasures from their sealed cases, and out of 
these to make certain offerings which he was to place 
near the god Ningirsu, in the temple in which he was 
dwelling at that time. The offerings were to consist 
of a chariot, adorned with pure metal and precious 
stones; bright arrows in a quiver; the weapon of the 
god, his sacred emblem, on which Gudea was to inscribe 
his own name; and finally a lyre, the music of which 
was wont to soothe the god when he took counsel with 
himself. Nina added that if the patesi carried out her 
instructions and made the offerings she had specified, 
Ningirsu would reveal to him the plan on which the 
temple was to be built, and would also bless him. Gudea 
bowed himself down in token of his submission to the 
commands of the goddess, and proceeded to execute 
them forthwith. He brought out his treasures, and from 
the precious woods and metals which he possessed his 
craftsmen fashioned the objects he was to present, and 
he set them in Ningirsu 's temple near to the god. He 
worked day and night, and, having prepared a suitable 
spot in the precincts of the temple at the place of judg- 
ment, he spread out upon it as offerings a fat sheep 
and a kid and the skin of a young female kid. Then 
he built a fire of cypress and cedar and other aromatic 
woods, to make a sweet savour, and, entering the inner 
chamber of the temple, he offered a prayer to Ningirsu. 
He said that he wished to build the temple, but he had 


received no sign that this was the will of the god, and 
he prayed for a sign. 

While he prayed the patesi was stretched out upon 
the ground, and the god, standing near his head, then 
answered him. He said that he who should build his 
temple was none other than Gudea, and that he would 
give him the sign for which he asked. But first he 
described the plan on which the temple was to be built, 
naming its various shrines and chambers and describing 
the manner in which they were to be fashioned and 
adorned. And the god promised that when Gudea 
should build the temple, the land would once more enjoy 
abundance, for Ningirsu would send a wind which 
should proclaim to the heavens the return of the waters. 
And on that day the waters would fall from the heavens, 
the water in the ditches and canals would rise, and 
water would gush out from the dry clefts in the ground. 
And the great fields would once more produce their 
crops, and oil would be poured out plenteously in Sumer, 
and wool would again be weighed in great abundance. 
In that day the god would go to the mountain where 
dwelt the whirlwind, and he would himself direct the 
wind which should give the land the breath of life. 
Gudea must therefore work day and night at the task 
of building the temple. One company of men was to 
relieve another at its toil, and during the night the men 
were to kindle lights so that the plain should be as 
bright as day. Thus the builders would build contin- 
uously. Men were also to be sent to the mountains to 
cut down cedars and pines and other trees and bring 


their trunks to the city, while masons were to go to 
the mountains and were to cut and transport huge 
blocks of stone to be used in the construction of the 
temple. Finally the god gave Gudea the sign for which 
he asked. The sign was that he should feel his side 
touched as by a flame, and thereby he should know that 
he was the man chosen by Ningirsu to carry out his 

Gudea bowed his head in submission, and his first 
act was to consult the omens, and the omens were fa- 
vourable. He then proceeded to purify the city by spe- 
cial rites, so that the mother when angered did not chide 
her son, and the master did not strike his servant's head, 
and the mistress, though provoked by her handmaid, 
did not smite her face. And Gudea drove all the evil 
wizards and sorcerers from the city, and he purified and 
sanctified the city completely. Then he kindled a great 
fire of cedar and other aromatic woods, to make a sweet 
savour for the gods, and prayers were offered day and 
night; and the patesi addressed a prayer to the Anun- 
naki, or Spirits of the Earth, who dwelt in Shirpurla, 
and assigned a place to them in the temple. Then, hav- 
ing completed his purification of the city itself, he con- 
secrated its immediate surroundings. Thus he conse- 
crated the district of Gu-edin, whence the revenues of 
Ningirsu were derived, and the lands of the goddess 
Nina with their populous villages. And he consecrated 
the wild and savage bulls which no man could turn 
aside, and the cedars which were sacred to Ningirsu, 
and the cattle of the plains. And he consecrated the 


armed men, and the famous warriors, and the warriors 
of the Sun-god. And the emblems of the god Ningirsu, 
and of the two great goddesses, Nina and Ninni, he 
installed before them in their shrines. 

Then Gudea sent far and wide to fetch materials for 
the construction of the temple. And the Elamite came 
from Elam, and men of Susa came from Susa, and men 
brought wood from the mountains of Sinai and Melukh- 
kha. And into the mountain of cedars, where no man 
before had penetrated, the patesi cut a road, and he 
brought cedars and beams of other precious woods in 
great quantities to the city. And he also made a road 
into the mountain where stone was quarried, into places 
where no man before had penetrated. And he carried 
great blocks of stone down from the mountain and 
loaded them into barges and brought them to the city. 
And the barges brought bitumen and plaster, and they 
were loaded as though they were carrying grain, and 
all manner of great things were brought to the city. 
Copper ore was brought from the mountain of copper 
in the land of Kimash, and gold was brought in powder 
from the mountains, and silver was brought from the 
mountains and porphyry from the land of Melukhkha, 
and marble from the mountain of marble. And the 
patesi installed goldsmiths and silversmiths, who 
wrought in these precious metals, for the adornment 
of the temple; and he brought smiths who worked in 
copper and lead, who were priests of Mn-tu-kalama. In 
his search for fitting materials for the building of the 
temple, Gudea journeyed from the lower country to the 


upper country, and from the upper country to the lower 
country he returned. 

The only other materials now wanting for the con- 
struction of the temple were the sun-dried bricks of 
clay, of which the temple platform and the structure 
of the temple itself were in the main composed. Their 
manufacture was now inaugurated by a symbolical cere- 
mony carried out by the patesi in person. At dawn he 
performed an ablution with the fitting rites that accom- 
panied it, and when the day was more advanced he slew 
a bull and a kid as sacrifices, and he then entered the 
temple of Ningirsu, where he prostrated himself. And 
he took the sacred mould and the fair cushion on which 
it rested in the temple, and he poured a libation into the 
mould. Afterwards, having made offerings of honey and 
butter, and having burnt incense, he placed the cushion 
and the mould upon his head and carried it to the ap- 
pointed place. There he placed clay in the mould, shap- 
ing it into a brick, and he left the brick in its mould 
within the temple. And last of all he sprinkled oil of 
cedar-wood around. r 

The next day at dawn Gudea broke the mould and 
set the brick in the sun. And the Sun-god was rejoiced 
at the brick that he had fashioned. And Gudea took 
the brick and raised it on high towards the heavens, 
and he carried the brick to his people. In this way the 
patesi inaugurated the manufacture of the sun-dried 
bricks for the temple, the sacred brick which he had 
made being the symbol and pattern of the innumerable 
bricks to be used in its construction. He then marked 


out the plan of the temple, and the text states that he 
devoted himself to the building of the temple like a 
young man who has begun building a house and allows 
no pleasure to interfere with his task. And he chose 
out skilled workmen and employed them on the building, 
and he was filled with joy. The gods, too, are stated 
to have helped with the building, for Enki fixed the 
temennu of the temple, and the goddess Nina looked 
after its oracles, and Gatumdug, the mother of Shir- 
purla, fashioned bricks for it morning and evening, 
while the goddess Bau sprinkled aromatic oil of cedar- 
wood. Gudea himself laid its foundations, and as he 
did so he blessed the temple seven times, comparing it 
to the sacred brick, to the holy libation-vase, to the 
divine eagle of Shirpurla, to a terrible couching panther, 
to the beautiful heavens, to the day of offerings, and 
to the morning light which brightens the land. He 
caused the temple to rise towards heaven like a moun- 
tain, or like a cedar growing in the desert. He built 
it of bricks of Sumer, and the timbers which he set in 
place were as strong as the dragon of the deep. 

While he was engaged on the building Gudea took 
counsel of the god Enki, and he built a fountain for the 
gods, where they might drink. With the great stones 
which he had brought and fashioned he built a reservoir 
and a basin for the temple. And seven of the great 
stones he set up as stelae, and he gave them favourable 
names. The text then recounts the various parts and 
shrines of the temple, and it describes their splendours 
in similes drawn from the heavens and the earth and the 


abyss, or deep, beneath the earth. The temple itself is 
described as being like the crescent of the new moon, 
or like the sun in the midst of the stars, or like a moun- 
tain of lapis lazuli, or like a mountain of shining mar- 
ble. Parts of it are said to have been terrible and strong 
as a savage bull, or a lion, or the antelope of the abyss, 
or the monster Lakhamu who dwells in the abyss, or 
the sacred leopard that inspires terror. One of the doors 
of the temple was guarded by a figure of the hero who 
slew the monster with six heads, and at another door 
was a good dragon, and at another a lion; opposite the 
city were set figures of the seven heroes, and facing the 
rising sun was fixed the emblem of the Sun-god. Fig- 
ures of other heroes and favourable monsters were set 
up as guardians of other portions of the temple. The 
fastenings of the main entrance were decorated with 
dragons shooting out their tongues, and the bolt of the 
great door was fashioned like a raging hound. 

After this description of the construction and adorn- 
ment of the temple the text goes on to narrate how 
Gudea arranged for its material endowment. He stalled 
oxen and sheep, for sacrifice and feasting, in the out- 
houses and pens within the temple precincts, and he 
heaped up grain in its granaries. Its storehouses he 
filled with spices so that they were like the Tigris when 
its waters are in flood, and in its treasure-chambers he 
piled up precious stones, and silver, and lead in abun- 
dance. Within the temple precincts he planted a sacred 
garden which was like a mountain covered with vines; 
and on the terrace he built a great reservoir, or tank, 


lined with lead, in addition to the great stone reservoir 
within the temple itself. He constructed a special dwell- 
ing-place for the sacred doves, and among the flowers of 
the temple garden and under the shade of the great trees 
the birds of heaven flew about unmolested. 

The first of the two great cylinders of Gudea ends 
at this point in the description of the temple, and it 
is evident that its text was composed while the work 
of building was still in progress. Moreover, the writing 
of the cylinder was finished before the actual work of 
building the temple was completed, for the last column 
of the text concludes with a prayer to Ningirsu to make 
it glorious during the progress of the work, the prayer 
ending with the words, " O Ningirsu, glorify it! Glorify 
the temple of Ningirsu during its construction! " The 
text of the second of the two great cylinders is shorter 
than that of the first, consisting of twenty-four instead 
of thirty columns of writing, and it was composed and 
written after the temple was completed. Like the first 
of the cylinders, it concludes with a prayer to Ningirsu 
on behalf of the temple, ending with the similar refrain, 
" Ningirsu, glorify it! Glorify the temple of Ningirsu 
after its construction! " The first cylinder, as we have 
seen, records how it came about that Gudea decided 
to rebuild the temple E-ninnu in honour of Ningirsu. 
It describes how, when the land was suffering from 
drought and famine, Gudea had a dream, how Nina 
interpreted the dream to mean that he must rebuild the 
temple, and how Ningirsu himself promised that this 
act of piety would restore abundance and prosperity to 


the land. Its text ends with the long description of the 
sumptuous manner in which the patesi carried out the 
work, the most striking points of which we have just 
summarized. The narrative of the second cylinder be- 
gins at the moment when the building of the temple was 
finished, and when all was ready for the great god Nin- 
girsu to be installed therein, and its text is taken up 
with a description of the ceremonies and rites with 
which this solemn function was carried out. It presents 
us with a picture, drawn from life, of the worship and 
cult of the ancient Sumerians in actual operation. In 
view of its importance from the point of view of the 
study and comparison of the Sumerian and Babylonian 
religious systems, its contents also may be summarized. 
We will afterwards discuss briefly the information fur- 
nished by both the cylinders on the Sumerian origin of 
many of the religious beliefs and practices which were 
current among the later Semitic inhabitants of Baby- 
lonia and Assyria. 

When Gudea had finished building the new temple of 
E-ninnu, and had completed the decoration and adorn- 
ment of its shrines, and had planted its gardens and 
stocked its treasure-chambers and storehouses, he ap- 
plied himself to the preliminary ceremonies and relig- 
ious preparations which necessarily preceded the actual 
function of transferring the statue of the god Ningirsu 
from his old temple to his new one. Gudea 's first act 
was to install the Anunnaki, or Spirits of the Earth, 
in the new temple, and when he had done this, and had 
supplied additional sheep for their sacrifices and food 


in abundance for their offerings, he prayed to them to 
give him their assistance and to pronounce a prayer at 
his side when he should lead Ningirsu into his new 
dwelling-place. The text then describes how Gudea 
went to the old temple of Ningirsu, accompanied by 
his protecting spirits who walked before him and behind 
him. Into the old temple he carried sumptuous offer- 
ings, and when he had set them before the god, he 
addressed him in prayer and said: " my King, Nin- 
girsu! Lord, who curbest the raging waters! Lord, 
whose word surpasseth all others! O Son of Enlil, O 
warrior, what commands shall I faithfully carry out? 

Ningirsu, I have built thy temple, and with joy 
would I lead thee therein, and my goddess Bau would 

1 install at thy side." We are told that the god accepted 
Gudea 's prayer, and thereby he gave his consent to be 
removed from the old temple of E-ninnu to his new one 
which bore the same name. 

But the ceremony of the god's removal was not car- 
ried out at once, for the due time had not arrived. The 
year ended, and the new year came, and then " the 
month of the temple " began. The third day of the 
month was that appointed for the installation of Nin- 
girsu. Gudea meanwhile had sprinkled the ground with 
oil, and set out offerings of honey and butter and wine, 
and grain mixed with milk, and dates, and food un- 
touched by fire, to serve as food for the gods; and the 
gods themselves had assisted in the preparations for 
the reception of Ningirsu. The god Asaru made ready 
the temple itself, and Ninmada performed the ceremony 


of purification. The god Enki issued oracles, and the 
god Nindub, the supreme priest of Eridu, brought in- 
cense. Nina performed chants within the temple, and 
brought black sheep and holy cows to its folds and stalls. 
This record of the help given by the other gods we may 
interpret as meaning that the priests attached to the 
other great Sumerian temples took part in the prepara- 
tion of the new temple, and added their offerings to the 
temple stores. To many of the gods, also, special shrines 
within the temple were assigned. 

When the purification of E-ninnu was completed and 
the way between the old temple and the new made 
ready, all the inhabitants of the city prostrated them- 
selves on the ground. " The city," says Gudea, " was 
like the mother of a sick man who prepareth a potion 
for him, or like the cattle of the plain which lie down 
together, or like the fierce lion, the master of the plain, 
when he coucheth." During the day and the night 
before the ceremony of removal, prayers and supplica- 
tions were uttered, and at the first light of dawn on 
the appointed day the god Ningirsu went into his new 
temple " like a whirlwind," the goddess Bau entering 
at his side " like the sun rising over Shirpurla." She 
entered beside his couch, like a faithful wife, whose 
cares are for her own household, and she dwelt beside 
his ear and bestowed abundance upon Shirpurla. 

As the day began to brighten and the sun rose, 
Gudea set out as offerings in the temple a fat ox and 
a fat sheep, and he brought a vase of lead and filled 
it with wine, which he poured out as a libation, and he 


performed incantations. Then, having duly established 
Ningirsu and Bau in the chief shrine, he turned his 
attention to the lesser gods and installed them in their 
appointed places in the temple, where they would be 
always ready to assist Ningirsu in the temple cere- 
monies and in the issue of his decrees for the welfare 
of the city and its inhabitants. Thus he established the 
god Galalim, the son of Ningirsu, in a chosen spot in 
the great court in front of the temple, where, under the 
orders of his father, he should direct the just and curb 
the evil-doer; he would also by his presence strengthen 
and preserve the temple, while his special duty was to 
guard the throne of destiny and, on behalf of Ningirsu, 
to place the sceptre in the hands of the reigning patesi. 
Near to Ningirsu and under his orders Gudea also estab- 
lished the god Dunshaga, whose function it was to sanc- 
tify the temple and to look after its libations and offer- 
ings, and to see to the due performance of the ceremo- 
nies of ablution. This god would offer water to Ningirsu 
with a pure hand, he would pour out libations of wine 
and strong drink, and would tend the oxen, sheep, kids, 
and other offerings which were brought to the temple 
night and day. To the god Lugalkurdub, who was also 
installed in the temple, was assigned the privilege of 
holding in his hand the mace with the seven heads, and 
it was his duty to open the door of the Gate of Combat. 
He guarded the sacred weapons of Ningirsu and des- 
troyed the countries of his enemies. He was Ningirsu 's 
chief leader in battle, and another god with lesser pow- 
ers was associated with him as his second leader. 


Ningirsu's counsellor was the god Lugalsisa, and he 
also had his appointed place in E-ninnu. It was his 
duty to receive the prayers of Shirpurla and render 
them propitious; he superintended and blessed Nin- 
girsu's journey when he visited Eridu or returned from 
that city, and he made special intercessions for the life 
of Gudea. The minister of Ningirsu's harim was the 
god Shakanskabar, and he was installed near to Nin- 
girsu that he might issue his commands, both great and 
small. The keeper of the harim was the god Urizu, and 
it was his duty to purify the water and sanctify the 
grain, and he tended Ningirsu's sleeping-chamber and 
saw that all was arranged therein as was fitting. The 
driver of Ningirsu's chariot was the god Ensignun; it 
was his duty to keep the sacred chariot as bright as the 
stars of heaven, and morning and evening to tend and 
feed Ningirsu's sacred ass, called Ug-kash, and the ass 
of Eridu. The shepherd of Ningirsu's kids was the god 
Enlulim, and he tended the sacred she-goat who suckled 
the kids, and he guarded her so that the serpent should 
not steal her milk. This god also looked after the oil 
and the strong drink of E-ninnu, and saw that its store 

Ningirsu's beloved musician was the god Ushum- 
gabkalama, and he was installed in E-ninnu that he 
might take his flute and fill the temple court with joy. 
It was his privilege to play to Ningirsu as he listened 
in his harim, and to render the life of the god pleasant 
in E-ninnu. Ningirsu's singer was the god Lugaligi- 
khusham, and he had his appointed place in E-ninnu, for 


lie could appease the heart and soften anger; he could 
stop the tears which flowed from weeping eyes, and 
could lessen sorrow in the sighing heart. Gudea also 
installed in E-ninnu the seven twin-daughters of the 
goddess Bau, all virgins, whom Ningirsu had begotten. 
Their names were Zarzaru, Impae, Urenuntaea, Khegir- 
nuna, Kheshaga, Gurmu, and Zarmu. Gudea installed 
them near their father that they might offer favourable 

The cultivator of the district of Gu-edin was the god 
Gishbare, and he was installed in the temple that he 
might cause the great fields to be fertile, and might 
make the wheat glisten in Gu-edin, the plain assigned 
to Ningirsu for his revenues. It was this god's duty 
also to tend the machines for irrigation, and to raise 
the water into the canals and ditches of Shirpurla, and 
thus to keep the city's granaries well filled. The god 
Kal was the guardian of the fishing in Gu-edin, and his 
chief duty was to place fish in the sacred pools. The 
steward of Gu-edin was the god Dimgalabzu, whose duty 
it was to keep the plain in good order, so that the birds 
might abound there and the beasts might raise their 
young in peace; he also guarded the special privilege, 
which the plain enjoyed, of freedom from any tax levied 
upon the increase of the cattle pastured there. Last 
of all Gudea installed in E-ninnu the god Lugalenurua- 
zagakam, who looked after the construction of houses in 
the city and the building of fortresses upon the city 
wall; in the temple it was his privilege to raise on high 
a battle-axe made of cedar. 


All these lesser deities, having close relations to the 
god Ningirsu, were installed by Gudea in his temple in 
close proximity to him, that they might be always ready 
to perform their special functions. But the greater 
deities also had their share in the inauguration of the 
temple, and of these Gudea specially mentions Ana, 
Enlil, Mnkharsag, Enki, and Enzu, who all assisted in 
rendering the temple's lot propitious. For at least three 
of the greater gods (Ana, Enlil, and the goddess Nin- 
makh) Gudea erected shrines near one another and 
probably w T ithin the temple's precincts, and, as the pas- 
sage which records this fact is broken, it is possible that 
the missing portion of the text recorded the building of 
shrines to other deities. In any case, it is clear that 
the composer of the text represents all the great gods 
as beholding the erection and inauguration of Ningirsu 's 
new temple with favour. 

After the account of the installation of Ningirsu, and 
his spouse Bau, and his attendant deities, the text re- 
cords the sumptuous offerings which Gudea placed 
within Ningirsu 's shrine. These included another char- 
iot drawn by an ass, a seven-headed battle-axe, a sword 
with nine emblems, a bow wdth terrible arrows and a 
quiver decorated with wild beasts and dragons shooting 
out their tongues, and a bed which was set within the 
god's sleeping-chamber. On the couch in the shrine 
the goddess Bau reclined beside her lord Ningirsu, and 
ate of the great victims which were sacrificed in their 

When the ceremony of installation had been success- 


fully performed, Gudea rested, and for seven days lie 
feasted with his people. During this time the maid was 
the equal of her mistress, and master and servant con- 
sorted together as friends. The powerful and the hum- 
ble man lay down side by side, and in place of evil 
speech only propitious words were heard. The rich 
man did not wrong the orphan and the strong man did 
not oppress the widow. The laws of Nina and Ningirsu 
were observed, justice was bright in the sunlight, and 
the Sun-god trampled iniquity under foot. The building 
of the temple also restored material prosperity to the 
land, for the canals became full of water and fish 
swarmed in the pools, the granaries were filled with 
grain and the flocks and herds brought forth their in- 
crease. The city of Shirpurla was satiated with abun- 

Such is a summary of the account which Gudea has 
left us of his rebuilding of the temple E-ninnu, of the 
reasons which led him to undertake the work, and of 
the results which followed its completion. It has often 
been said that the inscriptions of the ancient Sumerians 
are without much intrinsic value, that they mainly con- 
sist of dull votive formulae, and that for general interest 
the best of them cannot be compared with the later 
inscriptions of the Semitic inhabitants of Mesopotamia. 
This reproach, for which until recently there was con- 
siderable justification, has been finally removed by the 
working out of the texts upon Gudea 's cylinders. For 
picturesque narrative, for wealth of detail, and for strik- 
ing similes, it would be hard to find their superior in 


Babylonian and Assyrian literature. They are, in fact, 
very remarkable compositions, and in themselves justify 
the claim that the Sumerians were possessed of a litera- 
ture in the proper sense of the term. 

But that is not their only value, for they give a 
vivid picture of ancient Sumerian life and of the ideals 
and aims which actuated the people and their rulers. 
The Sumerians were essentially an unmilitary race. 
That they could maintain a stubborn fight for their ter- 
ritory is proved by the prolonged struggle maintained 
by Shirpurla against her rival Gishkhu, but neither 
ruler nor people was inflamed by love of conquest for 
its own sake. They were settled in a rich and fertile 
country, which supplied their own wants in abundance, 
and they were content to lead a peaceful life therein, 
engaged in agricultural and industrial pursuits, and 
devoted wholly to the worship of their gods. Gudea's 
inscriptions enable us to realize with what fervour they 
carried out the rebuilding of a temple, and how the 
whole resources of the nation were devoted to the suc- 
cessful completion of the work. It is true that the 
rebuilding of E-ninnu was undertaken in a critical 
period when the land was threatened with famine, and 
the peculiar magnificence with which the work was car- 
ried out may be partly explained as due to the belief 
that such devotion would ensure a return of material 
prosperity. But the existence of such a belief is in 
itself an indej to the people's character, and we may 
take it that the record faithfully represents the rela- 
tions of the Sumerians to their gods, and the important 


place which worship and ritual occupied in the national 

Moreover, the inscriptions of Gudea furnish much 
valuable information with regard to the details of Sume- 
rian worship and the elaborate organization of the tem- 
ples. From them we can reconstruct a picture of one 
of these immense buildings, with its numerous shrines 
and courts, surrounded by sacred gardens and raising 
its ziggurat, or temple tower, high above the surround- 
ing city. Within its dark chambers were the mysterious 
figures of the gods, and what little light could enter 
would have been reflected in the tanks of sacred water 
sunk to the level of the pavement. The air within the 
shrines must have been heavy with the smell of incense 
and of aromatic woods, while the deep silence would 
have been broken only by the chanting of the priests 
and the feet of those that bore offerings. Outside in 
the sunlight cedars and other rare trees cast a pleasant 
shade, and birds flew about among the flowers and 
bushes in the outer courts and on the garden terraces. 
The area covered by the temple buildings must have 
been enormous, for they included the dwellings of the 
priests, stables and pens for the cattle, sheep, and kids 
employed for sacrifice, and treasure-chambers and store- 
houses and granaries for the produce from the temple 

We also get much information with regard to the 
nature of the offerings and the character of the cere- 
monies which were performed. We may mention as 
of peculiar interest Gudea 's symbolical rite which pre- 


ceded the making of the sun-dried bricks, and the cere- 
mony of the installation of Ningirsu in the presence of 
the prostrate city. The texts also throw an interesting 
light on the truly Oriental manner in which, when ap- 
proaching one deity for help, the cooperation and assist- 
ance of other deities were first secured. Thus Gudea 
solicited the intercession of Ningirsu and Gatumdug 
before applying to the goddess Nina to interpret his 
dream. The extremely human character of the gods 
themselves is also well illustrated. Thus we gather from 
the texts that Ningirsu 's temple was arranged like the 
palace of a Sumerian ruler and that he was surrounded 
by gods who took the place of the attendants and min- 
isters of his human counterpart. His son was installed 
in a place of honour and shared with him the responsi- 
bility of government. Another god was his personal 
attendant and cupbearer, who offered him fair water 
and looked after the ablutions. Two more were his 
generals, who secured his country against the attacks 
of foes. Another was his counsellor, who received and 
presented petitions from his subjects and superintended 
his journeys. Another was the head of his harim, a 
position of great trust and responsibility, while a keeper 
of the harim looked after the practical details. Another 
god was the driver of his chariot, and it is interesting 
to note that the chariot was drawn by an ass, for horses 
were not introduced into Western Asia until a much 
later period. Other gods performed the functions of 
head shepherd, chief musician, chief singer, head culti- 
vator and inspector of irrigation, inspector of the fish- 


ing, land steward, and architect. His household also 
included his wife and his seven virgin daughters. In 
addition to the account of the various functions per- 
formed by these lesser deities, the texts also furnish 
valuable facts with regard to the characters and attri- 
butes of the greater gods and goddesses, such as the 
attributes of Ningirsu himself, and the character of Nina 
as the goddess who divined and interpreted the secrets 
of the gods. 

But perhaps the most interesting conclusions to be 
drawn from the texts relate to the influence exerted by 
the ancient Sumerians upon Semitic beliefs and prac- 
tices. It has, of course, long been recognized that the 
later Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia and Assyria drew 
most of their culture from the Sumerians, whom they 
displaced and absorbed. Their system of writing, the 
general structure of their temples, the ritual of their 
worship, the majority of their religious compositions, 
and many of their gods themselves are to be traced to 
a Sumerian origin, and much of the information ob- 
tained from the cylinders of Gudea merely confirms or 
illustrates the conclusions already deduced from other 
sources. As instances we may mention the belief in 
spirits, which is illustrated by the importance attached 
to the placating of the Anunnaki, or Spirits of the 
Earth, to whom a special place and special offerings 
were assigned in E-ninnu. The Sumerian origin of cere- 
monies of purification is confirmed by Gudea 's purifica- 
tion of the city before beginning the building of the 
temple, and again before the transference of the god 


from his old temple to the new one. The consultation 
of omens, which was so marked a feature of Babylonian 
and Assyrian life, is seen in actual operation under the 
Sumerians; for, even after Gudea had received direct 
instructions from Mngirsu to begin building his tem- 
ple, he did not proceed to carry them out until he had 
consulted the omens and found that they were favour- 
able. Moreover, the references to mythological beings, 
such as the seven heroes, the dragon of the deep, and 
the god who slew the dragon, confirm the opinion that 
the creation legends and other mythological composi- 
tions of the Babylonians were derived by them from 
Sumerian sources. But there are two incidents in the 
narrative which are on a rather different plane and are 
more startling in their novelty. One is the story of 
Gudea 's dream, and the other the sign which he sought 
from his god. The former is distinctly apocalyptic in 
character, and both may be parallelled in what is re- 
garded as purely Semitic literature. That such concep- 
tions existed among the Sumerians is a most interesting 
fact, and although the theory of independent origin is 
possible, their existence may well have influenced later 
Semitic beliefs. 





TIP to five years ago our knowledge of Elam and of 
the part she played in the ancient world was derived, 
in the main, from a few allusions to the country to be 
found in the records of Babylonian and Assyrian kings. 
It is true that a few inscriptions of the native rulers had 
been found in Persia, but they belonged to the late peri- 
ods of her history, and the majority consisted of short 
dedicatory formulae and did not supply us with much 
historical information. But the excavations carried on 
since then by M. de Morgan at Susa have revealed an 
entirely new chapter of ancient Oriental history, and 
have thrown a flood of light upon the position occupied 
by Elam among the early races of the East. 

Lying to the north of the Persian Gulf and to the 
east of the Tigris, and rising from the broad plains 
nearer the coast to the mountainous districts within its 
borders on the east and north, Elam was one of the 
nearest neighbours of Chaldaea. A few facts concerning 

her relations with Babylonia during certain periods of 



her history have long been known, and her struggles 
with the later kings of Assyria are known in some 
detail; but for her history during the earliest periods 
we have had to trust mainly to conjecture. That in the 
earlier as in the later periods she should have been in 
constant antagonism with Babylonia might legitimately 
be suspected, and it is not surprising that we should 
find an echo of her early struggles with Chaldaea in the 
legends which were current in the later periods of Baby- 
lonian history. In the fourth and fifth tablets, or sec- 
tions, of the great Babylonian epic which describes the 
exploits of the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh, a story is 
told of an expedition undertaken by Gilgamesh and his 
friend Ea-bani against an Elamite despot named Khum- 
baba. It is related in the poem that Khumbaba was 
feared by all who dwelt near him, for his roaring was 
like the storm, and any man perished who was rash 
enough to enter the cedar-wood in which he dwelt. But 
Gilgamesh, encouraged by a dream sent him by Sha- 
mash, the Sun-god, pressed on with his friend, and, 
having entered the wood, succeeded in slaying Khum- 
baba and in cutting off his head. This legend is doubt- 
less based on episodes in early Babylonian and Elamite 
history. Khumbaba may not have been an actual his- 
torical ruler, but at least he represents or personifies 
the power of Elam, and the success of Gilgamesh no 
doubt reflects the aspirations with which many a Baby- 
lonian expedition set out for the Elamite frontier. 

Incidentally it may be noted that the legend possibly 
had a still closer historical parallel, for the name of 


Khumbaba occurs as a component in a proper name 
upon one of the Elamite contracts found recently by 
M. de Morgan at Mai- Amir. The name in question is 
written Khumbaba-arad-ili, " Khumbaba, the servant 
of God," and it proves that at the date at which the 
contract was written (about 1300 - 1000 b. c.) the name 
of Khumbaba was still held in remembrance, possibly 
as that of an early historical ruler of the country. 

In her struggles with Chaldaea, Elam was not suc- 
cessful during the earliest historical period of which 
we have obtained information; and, so far as we can 
tell at present, her princes long continued to own alle- 
giance to the Semitic rulers whose influence was pre- 
dominant from time to time in the plains of Lower 
Mesopotamia. Tradition relates that two of the earliest 
Semitic rulers whose names are known to us, Sargon 
and Naram-Sin, kings of Agade, held sway in Elam, 
for in the " Omens " which were current in a later 
period concerning them, the former is credited with the 
conquest of the whole country, while of the latter it is 
related that he conquered Apirak, an Elamite district, 
and captured its king. Some doubts were formerly cast 
upon these traditions inasmuch as they were found in 
a text containing omens or forecasts, but these doubts 
were removed by the discovery of contemporary docu- 
ments by which the later traditions were confirmed. 
Sargon 's conquest of Elam, for instance, was proved 
to be historical by a reference to the event in a date- 
formula upon tablets belonging to his reign. Moreover, 
the event has received further confirmation from an 


unpublished tablet in the British Museum, containing 
a copy of the original chronicle from which the histori- 
cal extracts in the " Omens " were derived. The por- 
tion of the composition inscribed upon this tablet does 
not contain the lines referring to Sargon's conquest of 
Elam, for these occurred in an earlier section of the 
composition; but the recovery of the tablet puts beyond 
a doubt the historical character of the traditions pre- 
served upon the omen-tablet as a whole, and the con- 
quest of Elam is thus confirmed by inference. The new 
text does recount the expedition undertaken by Naram- 
Sin, the son of Sargon, against Apirak, and so furnishes 
a direct confirmation of this event. 

Another early conqueror of Elam, who was probably 
of Semitic origin, was Alu-usharshid, king of the city 
of Kish, for, from a number of his inscriptions found 
near those of Sargon at Nippur in Babylonia, we learn 
that he subdued Elam and Para'se, the district in which 
the city of Susa was probably situated. From a small 
mace-head preserved in the British Museum we know 
of another conquest of Elam by a Semitic ruler of this 
early period. The mace-head was made and engraved 
by the orders of Mutabil, an early governor of the city 
of Dur-ilu, to commemorate his own valour as the man 
" who smote the head of the hosts " of Elam. Mutabil 
was not himself an independent ruler, and his conquest 
of Elam must have been undertaken on behalf of the 
suzerain to whom he owed allegiance, and thus his vic- 
tory cannot be classed in the same category as those 
of his predecessors. A similar remark applies to the 


success against the city of Anshan in Elam, achieved 
by Gudea, the Sumerian ruler of Shirpurla, inasmuch 
as he was a patesi, or viceroy, and not an independent 
king. Of greater duration was the influence exercised 
over Elam by the kings of Ur, for bricks and contract- 
tablets have been found at Susa proving that Dungi, 
one of the most powerful kings of Ur, and Bur-Sin, Ine- 
Sin, and Gamil-Sin, kings of the second dynasty in that 
city, all in turn included Elam within the limits of their 

Such are the main facts which until recently had 
been ascertained with regard to the influence of early 
Babylonian rulers in Elam. The information is obtained 
mainly from Babylonian sources, and until recently we 
have been unable to fill in any details of the picture 
from the Elamite side. But this inability has now been 
removed by M. de Morgan's discoveries. Prom the 
inscribed bricks, cones, stelae, and statues that have been 
brought to light in the course of his excavations at Susa, 
we have recovered the name of a succession of native 
Elamite rulers. All those who are to be assigned to 
this early period, during which Elam owed allegiance 
to the kings of Babylonia, ascribe to themselves the 
title of patesi, or viceroy, of Susa, in acknowledgment 
of their dependence. Their records consist principally 
of building inscriptions and foundation memorials, and 
they commemorate the construction or repair of temples, 
the cutting of canals, and the like. They do not, there- 
fore, throw much light upon the problems connected 
with the external history of Elam during this early 


period, but we obtain from them a glimpse of the in- 
ternal administration of the country. We see a nation 
without ambition to extend its boundaries, and content, 
at any rate for the time, to owe allegiance to foreign 
ruLers, while the energies of its native princes are de- 
voted exclusively to the cultivation of the worship of 
the gods and to the amelioration of the conditions of the 
life of the people in their charge. 

A difficult but interesting problem presents itself for 
solution at the outset of our inquiry into the history of 
this people as revealed by their lately recovered inscrip- 
tions,— the problem of their race and origin. Found at 
Susa in Elam, and inscribed by princes bearing purely 
Elamite names, we should expect these votive and me- 
morial texts to be written entirely in the Elamite lan- 
guage. But such is not the case, for many of them 
are written in good Semitic Babylonian. While some 
are entirely composed in the tongue which we term 
Elamite or Anzanite, others, so far as their language 
and style is concerned, might have been written by any 
early Semitic king ruling in Babylonia. Why did early 
princes of Susa make this use of the Babylonian tongue ? 

At first sight it might seem possible to trace a par- 
allel in the use of the Babylonian language by kings and 
officials in Egypt and Syria during the fifteenth cen- 
tury b. c, as revealed in the letters from Tell el-Amarna. 
But a moment's thought will show that the cases are 
not similar. The Egyptian or Syrian scribe employed 
Babylonian as a medium for his official foreign corre- 
spondence because Babylonian at that period was the 


lingua franca of the East. But the object of the early 
Elamite rulers was totally different. Their inscribed 
bricks and memorial stelae were not intended for the eyes 
of foreigners, but for those of their own descendants. 
Built into the structure of a temple, or buried beneath 
the edifice, one of their principal objects was to preserve 
the name and deeds of the writer from oblivion. Like 
similar documents found on the sites of Assyrian and 
Babylonian cities, they sometimes include curses upon 
any impious man, who, on finding the inscription after 
the temple shall have fallen into ruins, should in any 
way injure the inscription or deface the writer's name. 
It will be obvious that the writers of these inscriptions 
intended that they should be intelligible to those who 
might come across them in the future. If, therefore, 
they employed the Babylonian as well as the Elamite 
language, it is clear that they expected that their future 
readers might be either Babylonian or Elamite ; and this 
belief can only be explained on the supposition that 
their own subjects were of mixed race. 

It is therefore certain that at this early period of 
Elamite history Semitic Babylonians and Elamites dwelt 
side by side in Susa and retained their separate lan- 
guages. The problem therefore resolves itself into the 
inquiry: which of these two peoples occupied the coun- 
try first? Were the Semites at first in sole possession, 
which was afterwards disputed by the incursion of 
Elamite tribes from the north and east? Or were the 
Elamites the original inhabitants of the land, into which 
the Semites subsequently pressed from Babylonia? 


A similar mixture of races is met with in Babylonia 
itself in the early period of the history of that country. 
There the early Sumerian inhabi cants were gradually 
dispossessed by the invading Semite, who adopted the 
civilization of the conquered race, and took over the 
system of cuneiform writing, which he modified to suit 
his own language. In Babylonia the Semites eventually 
predominated and the Sumerians as a race disappeared, 
but during the process of absorption the two languages 
were employed indiscriminately. The kings of the First 
Babylonian Dynasty wrote their votive inscriptions 
sometimes in Sumerian, sometimes in Semitic Baby- 
lonian; at other times they employed both languages 
for the same text, writing the record first in Sumerian 
and afterwards appending a Semitic translation by the 
side; and in the legal and commercial documents of the 
period the old Sumerian legal forms and phrases were 
retained intact. In Elam we may suppose that the use 
of the Sumerian and Semitic languages was the same. 

It may be surmised, however, that the first Semitic 
incursions into Elam took ]5lace at a much later period 
than those into Babylonia, and under very different con- 
ditions. When overrunning the plains and cities of the 
Sumerians, the Semites were comparatively uncivilized, 
and, so far as we know, without a system of writing of 
their own. The incursions into Elam must have taken 
place under the great Semitic conquerors, such as Sar- 
gon and Naram-Sin and Alu-usharshid. At this period 
they had fully adopted and modified the Sumerian char- 
acters to express their own Semitic tongue, and on their 


invasion of Elam they brought their system of writing 
with them. The native princes of Elam, whom they 
conquered, adopted it in turn for many of their votive 
texts and inscribed monuments when they wished to 
write them in the Babylonian language. 

Such is the most probable explanation of the occur- 
rence in Elam of inscriptions in the Old Babylonian lan- 
guage, written by native princes concerning purely 
domestic matters. But a further question now suggests 
itself. Assuming that this was the order in which 
events took place, are we to suppose that the first 
Semitic invaders of Elam found there a native popula- 
tion in a totally undeveloped stage of civilization? Or 
did they find a population enjoying a comparatively 
high state of culture, different from their own, which 
they proceeded to modify and transform? Luckily, we 
have not to fall back on conjecture for an answer to 
these questions, for a recent discovery at Susa has fur- 
nished material from which it is possible to reconstruct 
in outline the state of culture of these early Elamites. 

This interesting discovery consists of a number of 
clay tablets inscribed in the proto-Elamite system of 
writing, a system which was probably the only one in 
use in the country during the period before the Semitic 
invasion. The documents in question are small, roughly 
formed tablets of clay very similar to those employed 
in the early periods of Babylonian history, but the signs 
and characters impressed upon them offer the greatest 
contrast to the Sumerian and early Babylonian char- 
acters with which we are familiar. Although they can- 



not be fully deciphered at present, it is probable that 
they are tablets of accounts, the signs upon them con- 
sisting of lists of figures and what are probably ideo- 
graphs for things. Some of the ideographs, such as that 


The photograph is taken from M. de Morgan's Delegation en 

Perse, M6m. t t. vi, pi. 23. 

for " tablet/' with which many of the texts begin, are 
very similar to the Sumerian or Babylonian signs for 
the same objects; but the majority are entirely different 
and have been formed and developed upon a system of 
their own. On these tablets, in fact, we have a new 



class of cuneiform writing in an early stage of its devel- 
opment, when the hieroglyphic or pictorial character of 
the ideographs was still prominent. Although the mean- 
ing of the majority of these ideographs has not yet been 
identified, Pere Scheil, who has edited the texts, has 


The photograph is reproduced from M. de Morgan's Delegation en 

Perse, Mhn., t. vi, pi. 22. 

succeeded in making out the system of numeration. He 
has identified the signs for unity, 10, 100, and 1,000, and 
for certain fractions, 1 and the signs for these figures are 
quite different from those employed by the Sumerians. 

1 E. g. i, J, f, J, f , \, |, £, f , &, T&, \\, etc. See Delegation en Perse, Me'- 
moires, tome vi (1905), pp. 115^f*. 


The system, too, is different, for it is a decimal, and not 
a sexagesimal, system of numeration. 

That in its origin this form of writing had some 
connection with that employed and, so far as we know, 
invented by the ancient Sumerians is possible. 1 But it 
shows small trace of Sumerian influence, and the dispar- 
ity in the two systems of numeration is a clear indica- 
tion that, at any rate, it broke off and was isolated from 
the latter at a very early period. Having once been 
adopted by the early Elamites, it continued to be used 
by them for long periods with but small change or modi- 
fication. Employed far from the centre of Sumerian 
civilization, its development was slow, and it seems to 
have remained in its ideographic state, while the system 
emplo} r ed by the Sumerians, and adopted by the Semitic 
Babylonians, was developed along syllabic lines. 

It was without doubt this proto-Elamite system of 
writing which the Semites from Babylonia found em- 
ployed in Elam on their first incursions into that coun- 
try. They brought with them their own more conve- 
nient form of writing, and, r when the country had once 
been finally subdued, the subject Elamite princes 
adopted the foreign system of writing and language 
from their conquerors for memorial and monumental 
inscriptions. But the ancient native writing was not 

1 It is, of course, also possible that the system of writing had no connection 
in its origin with that of the Sumerians, and was invented independently of 
the system employed in Babylonia. In that case, the signs which resemble cer- 
tain of the Sumerian characters must have been adopted in a later stage of its 
development. Though it would be rash to dogmatize on the subject, the view 
that connects its origin with the Sumerians appears on the whole to fit in best 
with the evidence at present available. 




entirely ousted, and continued to be employed by the 
common people of Elam for the ordinary purposes of 
daily life. That this was the case at least until the 
reign of Karibu-sha-Shu- 
shinak, one of the early sub- 
ject native rulers, is clear 
from one of his inscriptions 
engraved upon a block of 
limestone to commemorate 
the dedication of what were 
probably some temple furnish- 
ings in honour of the god Shu- 
shinak. The main part of the 
inscription is written in Sem- 
itic Babylonian, and below 
there is an addition to the 
text written in proto-Elamite 
characters, probably enumer- 
ating the offerings which the 
Karibu - sha - Shushinak de- 
creed should be made for the 
future in honour of the god. 1 
In course of time this proto- 
Elamite system of writing by 
means of ideographs seems to 
have died out, and a modified form of the Babylonian 
system was adopted by the Elamites for writing their 
own language phonetically. It is in this phonetic char- 

a We have assumed that both inscriptions were the work of Karibu-sha- 
Shushinak. But it is also possible that the second one in proto-Elamite charac- 


The photograph is taken from M. de Mor- 
gan's Delegation en Perse, M&m., t. vi, 
pi. 2. 


acter that the so-called " Anzanite " texts of the later 
Elamite princes were composed. 

Karibu-sha-Shushinak, whose recently discovered 
bilingual inscription has been referred to above, was 
one of the earlier of the subject princes of Elam, and 
he probably reigned at Susa not later than b. c. 3000. 
He styles himself " patesi of Susa, governor of the land 
of Elam," but we do not know at present to what con- 
temporary king in Babylonia he owed allegiance. The 
longest of his inscriptions that have been recovered is 
engraved upon a stele of limestone and records the 
building of the Gate of Shushinak at Susa and the cut- 
ting of a canal; it also recounts the offerings which 
Karibu-sha-Shushinak dedicated on the completion of 
the work. It may here be quoted as an example of the 
class of votive inscriptions from which the names of 
these early Elamite rulers have been recovered. The 
inscription runs as follows: " For the god Shushinak, 
his lord, Karibu-sha-Shushinak, the son of Shimbi-ish- 
khuk, patesi of Susa, governor of the land of Elam,— 
when he set the (door) of fyis Gate in place, ... in the 
Gate of the god Shushinak, his lord, and when he had 
opened the canal of Sidur, he set up in face thereof his 
canopy, and he set planks of cedar-wood for its gate. 
A sheep in the interior thereof, and sheep without, he 
appointed (for sacrifice) to him each day. On days of 
festival he caused the people to sing songs in the Gate 

ters was added at a later period. From its position on the stone it is clear that 
it was written after and not before Karibu-sha-Shushinak's inscription in 
Semitic Babylonian. See the photographic reproduction. 


of the god Shushinak. And twenty measures of fine 
oil he dedicated to make his gate beautiful. Four magi 
of silver he dedicated; a censer of silver and gold he 
dedicated for a sweet odour; a sword he dedicated; an 
axe with four blades he dedicated, and he dedicated sil- 
ver in addition for the mounting thereof. ... A right- 
eous judgment he judged in the city! As for the man 
who shall transgress his judgment or shall remove his 
gift, may the gods Shushinak and Shamash, Bel and Ea, 
Ninni and Sin, Ninkharsag and Nati — may all the 
gods uproot his foundation, and his seed may they 
destroy! " 

It will be seen that Karibu-sha-Shushinak takes a 
delight in enumerating the details of the offerings he 
has ordained in honour of his city-god Shushinak, and 
this religious temper is peculiarly characteristic of the 
princes of Elam throughout the whole course of their 
history. Another interesting point to notice in the in- 
scription is that, although the writer invokes Shushinak, 
his own god, and puts his name at the head of the list 
of deities whose vengeance he implores upon the impi- 
ous, he also calls upon the gods of the Babylonians. 
As he wrote the inscription itself in Babylonian, in the 
belief that it might be recovered by some future Semitic 
inhabitant of his country, so he included in his impre- 
cations those deities whose names he conceived would 
be most reverenced by such a reader. In addition to 
Karibu-sha-Shushinak the names of a number of other 
patesis, or viceroys, have recently been recovered, such 
as Khutran-tepti, and Idadu I and his son Kal-Rukhu- 


ratir, and his grandson Idadu II. All these probably 
ruled after Karibu-sha-Shushinak, and may be set in 
the early period of Babylonian supremacy in Elam. 

It has been stated above that the allegiance which 
these early Elamite princes owed to their overlords in 
Babylonia was probably reflected in the titles which 
they bear upon their inscriptions recently found at Susa. 
These titles are " patesi of Susa, skakkannak of Elam," 
which may be rendered as " viceroy of Susa, governor 
of Elam." But inscriptions have been found on the 
same site belonging to another series of rulers, to whom 
a different title is applied. Instead of referring to them- 
selves as viceroys of Susa and governors of Elam, they 
bear the title of sukkal of Elam, of Siparki, and of Susa. 
Siparki, or Sipar, was probably the name of an impor- 
tant section of Elamite territory, and the title sukkalu, 
" ruler," probably carries with it an idea of independ- 
ence of foreign control which is absent from the title of 
patesi. It is therefore legitimate to trace this change 
of title to a corresponding change in the political condi- 
tion of Elam; and there is much to be said for the view 
that the rulers of Elam who bore the title of sukkalu 
reigned at a period when Elam herself was independent, 
and may possibly have exercised a suzerainty over the 
neighbouring districts of Babylonia. 

The worker of this change in the political condition 
of Elam and the author of her independence was a king 
named Kutir-Nakhkhunte or Kutir-Na'khunde, whose 
name and deeds have been preserved in later Assyrian 
records, where he is termed Kudur-Nankhundi and 


Kudur-Nakhundu. 1 This ruler, according to the Assyr- 
ian king Ashur-bani-pal, was not content with throw- 
ing off the yoke under which his land had laboured for 
so long, but carried war into the country of his suze- 
rain and marched through Babylonia devastating and 
despoiling the principal cities. This successful Elamite 
campaign took place, according to the computation of the 
later Assyrian scribes, about the year 2280 b. c, and it 
is probable that for many years afterwards the author- 
ity of the King of Elam extended over the plains of 
Babylonia. It has been suggested that Kutir-Nakh- 
khunte, after including Babylonia within his empire, 
did not remain permanently in Elam, but may have 
resided for a part of each year, at least, in Lower Meso- 
potamia. His object, no doubt, would have been to 
superintend in person the administration of his empire 
and to check any growing spirit of independence among 
his local governors. He may thus have appointed in 
Susa itself a local governor who would carry on the 
business of the country during his absence, and, under 
the king himself, would wield supreme authority. Such 
governors may have been the sukkali, who, unlike the 
patesi, were independent of foreign control, but yet did 
nut enjoy the full title of " king." 

It is possible that the sukkalu who ruled in Elam 
during the reign of Kutir-Nakhkhunte was named 
Temti-agun, for a short inscription of this ruler has 
been recovered, in which he records that he built and 

1 For references to the passages where the name occurs, see King, Letters of 
Hammurabi, vol. i, p. Ivy. 


dedicated a certain temple with the object of ensuring 
the preservation of the life of Kutir-Na'khundi. If we 
may identify the Kutir-Na'khundi of this text with the 
great Elamite conqueror, Kutir-Nakhkhunte, it follows 
that Temti-agun, the sukkal of Susa, was his subordi- 
nate. The inscription mentions other names which are 
possibly those of rulers of this period, and reads as 
follows: " Temti-agun, sukkal of Susa, the son of the 
sister of Sirukdu', hath built a temple of bricks at 
Ishme-karab for the preservation of the life of Kutir- 
Na'khundi, and for the preservation of the life of Lila- 
irtash, and for the preservation of his own life, and for 
the preservation of the life of Temti-khisha-khanesh and 
of Pil-kishamma-khashduk." As Lila-irtash is men- 
tioned immediately after Kutir-Na'khundi, he was possi- 
bly his son, and he may have succeeded him as ruler of 
the empire of Elam and Babylonia, though no confirma- 
tion of this view has yet been discovered. Temti-khisha- 
khanesh is mentioned immediately after the reference 
to the preservation of the life of Temti-agun himself, 
and it may be conjectured that the name was that of 
Temti-agun 's son, or possibly that of his wife, in which 
event the last two personages mentioned in the text 
may have been the sons of Temti-agun. 

This short text affords a good example of one class 
of votive inscriptions from which it is possible to re- 
cover the names of Elamite rulers of this period, and 
it illustrates the uncertainty which at present attaches 
to the identification of the names themselves and the 
order in which they are to be arranged. Such uncer- 


tainty necessarily exists when only a few texts have 
been recovered, and it will disappear with the discovery 
of additional monuments by which the results already 
arrived at may be checked. We need not here enumer- 
ate all the names of the later Elamite rulers which have 
been found in the numerous votive inscriptions recov- 
ered during the recent excavations at Susa. The order 
in which they should be arranged is still a matter of 
considerable uncertainty, and the facts recorded by them 
in such inscriptions as we possess mainly concern the 
building and restoration of Elamite temples and the 
decoration of shrines, and they are thus of no great 
historical interest. These votive texts are well illus- 
trated by a remarkable find of foundation deposits made 
last year by M. de Morgan in the temple of Shushinak 
at Susa, consisting of figures and jewelry of gold md 
silver, and objects of lead, bronze, iron, stone, and ivory, 
cylinder-seals, mace-heads, vases, etc. This is the rich- 
est foundation deposit that has been recovered on any 
ancient site, and its archaeological interest in connection 
with the development of Elamite art is great. But in 
no other way does the find affect our conception of the 
history of the country, and we may therefore pass on 
to a consideration of such recent discoveries as throw 
new light upon the course of history in Western Asia. 

With the advent of the First Dynasty in Babylon 
Elam found herself face to face with a power prepared 
to dispute her claims to exercise a suzerainty over the 
plains of Mesopotamia. It is held by many writers that 
the First Dynasty of Babylon was of Arab origin, and 


there is much to be said for this view. M. Pognon was 
the first to start the theory that its kings were not 
purely Babylonian, but were of either Arab or Aramaean 
extraction, and he based his theory on a study of the 
forms of the names which some of them bore. The 
name of Samsu-iluna, for instance, means " the sun is 
our god," but the form of the words of which the name 
is composed betray foreign influence. Thus in Baby- 
lonian the name for " sun " or the Sun-god would be 
Shamash or Shamslia, not Samsii; in the second half 
of the name, while ilu (" god ") is good Babylonian, the 
ending na, which is the pronominal suffix of the first 
person plural, is not Babylonian, but Arabic. We need 
not here enter into a long philological discussion, and 
the instance already cited may suffice to show in what 
way many of the names met in the Babylonian inscrip- 
tions of this period betray a foreign, and possibly an 
Arabic, origin. But whether we assign the forms of 
these names to Arabic influence or not, it may be re- 
garded as certain that the First Dynasty of Babylon 
had its origin in the incursion into Babylonia of a new 
wave of Semitic immigration. The invading Semites 
brought with them fresh blood and unexhausted energy, 
and, finding many of their own race in scattered cities 
and settlements throughout the country, they succeeded 
in establishing a purely Semitic dynasty, with its capital 
at Babylon, and set about the task of freeing the coun- 
try from any vestiges of foreign control. Many cen- 
turies earlier Semitic kings had ruled in Babylonian 
cities, and Semitic empires had been formed there. Sar- 

Brick Stamped with an Inscription of Kudur-mabug. 

Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 


importance for one city, while it might never have been 
heard of in another district; thus it sometimes hap- 
pened that the same event was not adopted throughout 
the whole country for designating a particular year, 
and the result was that different systems of dating were 
employed in different parts of Babylonia. Moreover, 
when a particular system had been in use for a con- 
siderable time, it required a very good memory to retain 
the order and period of the various events referred to 
in the date-formulae, so as to fix in a moment the 
date of a document by its mention of one of them. In 
order to assist themselves in their task of fixing dates 
in this manner, the scribes of the First Dynasty of 
Babylon drew up lists of the titles of the years, arranged 
in chronological order under the reigns of the kings to 
which they referred. Some of these lists have been re- 
covered, and they are of the greatest assistance in fixing 
the chronology, while at the same time they furnish us 
with considerable information concerning the history 
of the period of which we should otherwise have been 
in ignorance. r 

From these lists of date-formulae, and from the dates 
themselves which are found upon the legal and com- 
mercial tablets of the period, we learn that Kish, Ka- 
sallu, and Isin all gave trouble to the earlier kings of 
the First Dynasty, and had in turn to be subdued. Elam 
did not watch the diminution of her influence in Baby- 
lonia without a struggle to retain it. Under Kudur- 
mabug, who was prince or governor of the districts 
lying along the frontier of Elam, the Elamites strug- 


gled hard to maintain their position in Babylonia, mak- 
ing the city of Ur the centre from which they sought 
to check the growing power of Babylon. From bricks 
that have been recovered from Mukayyer, the site of the 
city of Ur, we learn that Kudur-mabug rebuilt the tem- 
ple in that city dedicated to the Moon-god, which is an 
indication of the firm hold he had obtained upon the 
city. It was obvious to the new Semitic dynasty in 
Babylon that, until Ur and the neighbouring city of 
Larsam had been captured, they could entertain no hope 
of removing the Elamite yoke from Southern Babylonia. 
It is probable that the earlier kings of the dynasty made 
many attempts to capture them, with varying success. 
An echo of one of their struggles in which they claimed 
the victory may be seen in the date-formula for the 
fourteenth year of the reign of Sin-muballit, Hammu- 
rabi's father and predecessor on the throne of Babylon. 
This year was referred to in the documents of the period 
as " the year in which the people of Ur were slain with 
the sword." It will be noted that the capture of the 
city is not commemorated, so that we may infer that 
the slaughter of the Elamites which is recorded did not 
materially reduce their influence, as they were left in 
possession of their principal stronghold. In fact, Elam 
was not signally defeated in the reign of Kudur-mabug, 
but in that of his son Rim-Sin. From the date-formulae 
of Hammurabi's reign we learn that the struggle be- 
tween Elam and Babylon was brought to a climax in 
the thirtieth year of his reign, when it is recorded in 
the formulae that he defeated the Elamite army and 


overthrew Rim-Sin, while in the following year we 
gather that he added the land of Emutbal, that is, the 
western district of Elam, to his dominions. 

An unpublished chronicle in the British Museum 
gives us further details of Hammurabi's victory over 
the Elamites, and at the same time makes it clear that 
the defeat and overthrow of Rim-Sin was not so crush- 
ing as has hitherto been supposed. This chronicle re- 
lates that Hammurabi attacked Rim-Sin, and, after 
capturing the cities of Ur and Larsam, carried their 
spoil to Babylon. Up to the present it has been sup- 
posed that Hammurabi's victory marked the end of 
Elamite influence in Babylonia, and that thenceforward 
the supremacy of Babylon was established throughout 
the whole of the country. But from the new chronicle 
we gather that Hammurabi did not succeed in finally 
suppressing the attempts of Elam to regain her former 
position. It is true that the cities of Ur and Larsam 
were finally incorporated in the Babylonian empire, and 
the letters of Hammurabi to Sin-idinnam, the governor 
w T hom he placed in authority over Larsam, afford abun- 
dant evidence of the stringency of the administrative 
control which he established over Southern Babylonia. 
But Rim-Sin was only crippled for the time, and, on 
being driven from Ur and Larsam, he retired beyond 
the Elamite frontier and devoted his energies to the 
recuperation of his forces against the time when he 
should feel himself strong enough again to make a bid 
for victory in his struggle against the growing power 
of Babylon. It is probable that he made no further 



attempt to renew the contest during the life of Hammu- 
rabi, but after Samsu-iluna, the son of Hammurabi, had 
succeeded to the Babylonian throne, he appeared in 


The actual tablet is on the right ; that which appears to he another and larger tablet on 
the left is the hollow clay case in which the tablet on the right was originally enclosed. 
Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 

Babylonia at the head of the forces he had collected, 
and attempted to regain the cities and territory he had 
lost. The portion of the text of the chronicle relating 


to the war between Rim-Sin and Samsu-iluna is broken 
so that it is not possible to follow the campaign in detail, 
but it appears that Samsu-iluna defeated Rim-Sin, and 
possibly captured him or burnt him alive in a palace 
in which he had taken refuge. 

With the final defeat of Rim-Sin by Samsu-iluna it 
is probable that Elam ceased to be a thorn in the side 
of the kings of Babylon and that she made no further 
attempts to extend her authority beyond her own fron- 
tiers. But no sooner had Samsu-iluna freed his country 
from all danger from this quarter than he found himself 
faced by a new foe, before whom the dynasty eventually 
succumbed. This fact we learn from the unpublished 
chronicle to which reference has already been made, and 
the name of this new foe, as supplied by the chronicle, 
will render it necessary to revise all current schemes 
of Babylonian chronology. Samsu-iluna ? s new foe was 
no other than Iluma-ilu, the first king of the Second 
Dynasty, and, so far from having been regarded as 
Samsu-iluna 's contemporary, hitherto it has been imag- 
ined that he ascended the throne of Babylon one hun- 
dred and eighteen years after Samsu-iluna 's death. The 
new information supplied by the chronicle thus proves 
two important facts: first, that the Second Dynasty, 
instead of immediately succeeding the First Dynasty, 
was partly contemporary with it; second, that during 
the period in which the two dynasties were contem- 
porary they were at war with one another, the Sec- 
ond Dynasty gradually encroaching on the territory of 
the First Dynasty, until it eventually succeeded in cap- 


turing Babylon and in getting the whole of the country 
under its control. We also learn from the new chronicle 
that this Second Dynasty at first established itself in 
" the Country of the Sea/' that is to say, the districts 
in the extreme south of Babylonia bordering on the 
Persian Gulf, and afterwards extended its borders 
northward until it gradually absorbed the whole of 
Babylonia. Before discussing the other facts supplied 
by the new chronicle, with regard to the rise and growth 
of the Country of the Sea, whose kings formed the so- 
called " Second Dynasty/' it will be well to refer briefly 
to the sources from which the information on the period 
to be found in the current histories is derived. 

All the schemes of Babylonian chronology that have 
been suggested during the last twenty years have been 
based mainly on the great list of kings which is pre- 
served in the British Museum. This document was 
drawn up in the Neo-Babylonian or Persian period, and 
when complete it gave a list of the names of all the 
Babylonian kings from the First Dynasty of Babylon 
down to the time in which it was written. The names 
of the kings are arranged in dynasties, and details 
are given as to the length of their reigns and the 
total number of years each dynasty lasted. The be- 
ginning of the list which gave the names of the First 
Dynasty is wanting, but the missing portion has been 
restored from a smaller document which gives a list of 
the kings of the First and Second Dynasties only. In 
the great list of kings the dynasties are arranged one 
after the other, and it was obvious that its compiler 


imagined that they succeeded one another in the order 
in which he arranged them. But when the total num- 
ber of years the dynasties lasted is learned, w T e obtain 
dates for the first dynasties in the list which are too 
early to agree with other chronological information sup- 
plied by the historical inscriptions. The majority of 
writers have accepted the figures of the list of kings 
and have been content to ignore the discrepancies; 
others have sought to reconcile the available data by in- 
genious emendations of the figures given by the list and 
the historical inscriptions, or have omitted the Second 
Dynasty entirely from their calculations. The new 
chronicle, by showing that the First and Second Dynas- 
ties were partly contemporaneous, explains the dis- 
crepancies that have hitherto proved so puzzling. 

It would be out of place here to enter into a detailed 
discussion of Babylonian chronology, and therefore we 
will confine ourselves to a brief description of the 
sequence of events as revealed by the new chronicle. 
According to the list of kings, Iluma-ilu's reign was a 
long one, lasting for sixty t years, and the new chronicle 
gives no indication as to the period of his reign at which 
active hostilities with Babylon broke out. If the war 
occurred in the latter portion of his reign, it would 
follow that he had been for many years organizing the 
forces of the new state he had founded in the south 
of Babylonia before making serious encroachments in 
the north; and in that case the incessant campaigns car- 
ried on by Babylon against Elam in the reigns of Ham- 
murabi and Samsu-iluna would have afforded him the 


opportunity of establishing a firm foothold in the Coun- 
try of the Sea without the risk of Babylonian inter- 
ference. If, on the other hand, it was in the earlier part 
of his reign that hostilities with Babylon broke out, 
we may suppose that, while Samsu-iluna was devoting 
all his energies to crush Rim-Sin, the Country of the 
Sea declared her independence of Babylonian control. In 
this case we may imagine Samsu-iluna hurrying south, 
on the conclusion of his Elamite campaign, to crush the 
newly formed state before it had had time to organize 
its forces for prolonged resistance. 

Whichever of these alternatives eventually may 
prove to be correct, it is certain that Samsu-iluna took 
the initiative in Babylon's struggle with the Country 
of the Sea, and that his action was due either to her 
declaration of independence or to some daring act of 
aggression on the part of this small state which had 
hitherto appeared too insignificant to cause Babylon 
any serious trouble. The new chronicle tells us that 
Samsu-iluna undertook two expeditions against the 
Country of the Sea, both of which proved unsuccessful. 
In the first of these he penetrated to the very shores of 
the Persian Gulf, where a battle took place in which 
Samsu-iluna was defeated, and the bodies of many of 
the Babylonian soldiers were washed away by the sea. 
In the second campaign Iluma-ilu did not await Samsu- 
iluna 's attack, but advanced to meet him, and again 
defeated the Babylonian army. In the reign of Abeshu', 
Samsu-iluna 's son and successor, Iluma-ilu appears to 
have undertaken fresh acts of aggression against 


Babylon; and it was probably during one of his raids in 
Babylonian territory that Abeshu' attempted to crush 
the growing power of the Country of the Sea by the 
capture of its daring leader, Iluma-ilu himself. The 
new chronicle informs us that, with this object in view, 
Abeshu' dammed the river Tigris, hoping by this means 
to cut off Iluma-ilu and his army, but his stratagem 
did not succeed, and Iluma-ilu got back to his own terri- 
tory in safety. 

The new chronicle does not supply us with further 
details of the struggle between Babylon and the Country 
of the Sea, but we may conclude that all similar at- 
tempts on the part of the later kings of the First 
Dynasty to crush or restrain the power of the new state 
were useless. It is probable that from this time forward 
the kings of the First Dynasty accepted the independ- 
ence of the Country of the Sea upon their southern 
border as an evil which they were powerless to prevent. 
They must have looked back with regret to the good 
times the country had enjoyed under the powerful sway 
of Hammurabi, whose victorious arms even their ancient 
foes, the Elamites, had been unable to withstand. But, 
although the chronicle does not recount the further suc- 
cesses achieved by the Country of the Sea, it records 
a fact which undoubtedly contributed to hasten the fall 
of Babylon and bring the First Dynasty to an end. It 
tells us that in the reign of Samsu-ditana, the last king 
of the First Dynasty, the men of the land of Khattu 
(the Hittites from Northern Syria) marched against him 
in order to conquer the land of Akkad; in other words, 


they marched down the Euphrates and invaded North- 
ern Babylonia. The chronicle does not state how far 
the invasion was successful, but the appearance of a 
new enemy from the northwest must have divided the 
Babylonian forces and thus have reduced their power 
of resisting pressure from the Country of the Sea. 
Samsu-ditana may have succeeded in defeating the Hit- 
tites and in driving them from his country; but the fact 
that he was the last king of the First Dynasty proves 
that in his reign Babylon itself fell into the hands of 
the king of the Country of the Sea. 

The question now arises, To what race did the people 
of the Country of the Sea belong? Did they represent 
an advance-guard of the Kassite tribes, who eventually 
succeeded in establishing themselves as the Third Dy- 
nasty in Babylon? Or were they the Elamites who, 
when driven from Ur and Larsam, retreated southwards 
and maintained their independence on the shores of the 
Persian Gulf? Or did they represent some fresh wave 
of Semitic immigration? That they were not Kassites 
is proved by the new chronicle which relates how the 
Country of the Sea was conquered by the Kassites, and 
how the dynasty founded by Iluma-ilu thus came to 
an end. There is nothing to show that they were Elam- 
ites, and if the Country of the Sea had been colonized 
by fresh Semitic tribes, so far from opposing their kin- 
dred in Babylon, most probably they would have proved 
to them a source of additional strength and support. 
In fact, there are indications that the people of the 
Country of the Sea are to be referred to an older stock 


than the Elamites, the Semites, or the Kassites. In 
the dynasty of the Country of the Sea there is no 
doubt that we may trace the last successful struggle 
of the ancient Sumerians to retain possession of the 
land which they had held for so many centuries before 
the invading Semites had disputed its possession with 

Evidence of the Sumerian origin of the kings of the 
Country of the Sea may be traced in the names which 
several of them bear. Ishkibal, Grulkiskar, Peshgal- 
daramash, A-dara-kalama, Akur-ul-ana, and Melam-kur- 
kura, the names of some of them, are all good Sumerian 
names, and Shushshi, the brother of Ishkibal, may also 
be taken as a Sumerian name. It is true that the first 
three kings of the dynasty, Iluma-ilu, Itti-ili-nibi, and 
Damki-ilisku, and the last king of the dynasty, Ea- 
gamil, bear Semitic Babylonian names, but there is 
evidence that at least one of these is merely a Semitic 
rendering of a Sumerian equivalent. Iluma-ilu, the 
founder of the dynasty, has left inscriptions in which 
his name is written in its correct Sumerian form as 
Dingir-a-an, and the fact that he and some of his suc- 
cessors either bore Semitic names or appear in the late 
list of kings with their Sumerian names translated into 
Babylonian form may be easily explained by supposing 
that the population of the Country of the Sea was mixed 
and that the Sumerian and Semitic tongues were to a 
great extent employed indiscriminately. This supposi- 
tion is not inconsistent with the suggestion that the 
dynasty of the Country of the Sea was Sumerian, and 


that under it the Sumerians once more became the 
predominant race in Babylonia. 

The new chronicle also relates how the dynasty of 
the Country of the Sea succumbed in its turn before 
the incursions of the Kassites. We know that already 
under the First Dynasty the Kassite tribes had begun 
to make incursions into Babylonia, for the ninth year 
of Samsu-iluna was named in the date-formulae after a 
Kassite invasion, which, as it was commemorated in this 
manner by the Babylonians, was probably successfully 
repulsed. Such invasions must have taken place from 
time to time during the period of supremacy attained 
by the Country of the Sea, and it was undoubtedly with 
a view to stopping such incursions for the future that 
Ea-gamil, the last king of the Second Dynasty, decided 
to invade Elam and conquer the mountainous districts 
in which the Kassite tribes had built their strongholds. 
This Elamite campaign of Ea-gamil is recorded by the 
new chronicle, which relates how he was defeated and 
driven from the country by Ulam-Buriash, the brother 
of Bitiliash the Kassite. Ulam-Buriash did not rest 
content with repelling Ea-gamil's invasion of his land, 
but pursued him across the border and succeeded in 
conquering the Country of the Sea and in establishing 
there his own administration. The gradual conquest 
of the whole of Babylonia by the Kassites no doubt 
followed the conquest of the Country of the Sea, for 
the chronicle relates how the process of subjugation, 
begun by Ulam-Buriash, was continued by his nephew 
Agum, and we know from the lists of kings that 


Ea-gamil was the last king of the dynasty founded by 
Iluma-ilu. In this fashion the Second Dynasty was 
brought to an end, and the Sumerian element in the 
mixed population of Babylonia did not again succeed 
in gaining control of the government of the country. 

It will be noticed that the account of the earliest 
Kassite rulers of Babylonia which is given by the new 
chronicle does not exactly tally with the names of the 
kings of the Third Dynasty as found upon the list of 
kings. On this document the first king of the dynasty 
is named G-andash, with whom we may probably identify 
Ulam-Buriash, the Kassite conqueror of the Country of 
the Sea; the second king is Agum, and the third is 
Bitiliashi. According to the new chronicle Agum was 
the son of Bitiliashi, and it would be improbable that 
he should have ruled in Babylonia before his father. 
But this difficulty is removed by supposing that the 
two names were transposed by some copyist. The dif- 
ferent names assigned to the founder of the Kassite 
dynasty may be due to the existence of variant tradi- 
tions, or Ulam-Buriash m$y have assumed another name 
on his conquest of Babylonia, a practice which was usual 
with the later kings of Assyria when they occupied the 
Babylonian throne. 

The information supplied by the new chronicle with 
regard to the relations of the first three dynasties to 
one another is of the greatest possible interest to the 
student of early Babylonian history. We see that the 
Semitic empire founded at Babylon by Sumu-abu, and 
consolidated b}^ Hammurabi, was not established on so 


firm a basis as has hitherto been believed. The later 
kings of the dynasty, after Elam had been conquered, 
had to defend their empire from encroachments on the 
south, and they eventually succumbed before the on- 
slaught of the Sumerian element, which still remained 
in the population of Babylonia and had rallied in the 
Country of the Sea. This dynasty in its turn succumbed 
before the invasion of the Kassites from the mountains 
in the western districts of Elam, and, although the city 
of Babylon retained her position as the capital of the 
country throughout these changes of government, she 
was the capital of rulers of different races, who succes- 
sively fought for and obtained the control of the fertile 
plains of Mesopotamia. 

It is probable that the Kassite kings of the Third 
Dynasty exercised authority not only over Babylonia 
but also over the greater part of Elam, for a number 
of inscriptions of Kassite kings of Babylonia have been 
found by M. de Morgan at Susa. These inscriptions 
consist of grants of land written on roughly shaped 
stone stelae, a class which the Babylonians themselves 
called kudurru, while they have been frequently re- 
ferred to by modern writers as " boundary-stones." 
This latter term is not very happily chosen, for it sug- 
gests that the actual monuments themselves were set up 
on the limits of a field or estate to mark its boundary. 
It is true that the inscription on a kudurru enumerates 
the exact position and size of the estate with which it 
is concerned, but the kudurru was never actually used 
to mark the boundary. It was preserved as a title-deed, 



in the house of the owner of the estate or possibly in 
the temple of his god, and formed his charter or title- 
deed to which he could 
appeal in case of any dis- 
pute arising as to his 
right of ownership. One 
of the kudurrus found by 
M. de Morgan records the 
grant of a number of es- 
tates near Babylon by 
Nazimaruttash, a king of 
the Third or Kassite Dy- 
nasty, to the god Marduk, 
that is to say they were 
assigned by the king to 
the service of E-sagila, 
the great temple of Mar- 
duk at Babylon. All the 
crops and produce from 
the land were granted for 
the supply of the temple, 
which was to enjoy the 
property without the pay- 
ment of an}^ tax or trib- 
ute. The text also records 
the gift of considerable 
tracts of land in the same 
district to a private individual named Kashakti-Shugab, 
who was to enjoy a similar freedom from taxation so 
far as the lands bestowed upon him were concerned. 


Inscribed with a text of Nazimaruttash, a 
king of the Third or Kassite Dynasty, con- 
ferring certain estates near Babylon on the 
temple of Marduk and on a certain man 
named Kashakti-Shugab. The photograph 
is reproduced from M. de Morgan's Delega- 
tion en Perse, M6m., t. ii, pi. 18. 


This freedom from taxation is specially enacted by the 
document in the words: "Whensoever in the days that 
are to come the ruler of the country, or one of the gov- 
ernors, or directors, or wardens of these districts, shall 
make any claim with regard to these estates, or shall 
attempt to impose the payment of a tithe or tax upon 
them, may all the great gods whose names are com- 
memorated, or whose arms are portrayed, or whose 
dwelling-places are represented, on this stone, curse 
him with an evil curse and blot out his name! " 

Incidentally, this curse illustrates one of the most 
striking characteristics of the kudurrus, or " boundary- 
stones," viz. the carved figures of gods and representa- 
tions of their emblems, which all of them bare in addi- 
tion to the texts inscribed upon them. At one time it 
was thought that these symbols were to be connected 
with the signs of the zodiac and various constellations 
and stars, and it was suggested that they might have 
been intended to represent the relative positions of the 
heavenly bodies at the time the document was drawn 
up. But this text of Nazimaruttash and other similar 
documents that have recently been discovered prove that 
the presence of the figures and emblems of the gods 
upon the stones is to be explained on another and far 
more simple theory. They were placed there as guar- 
dians of the property to which the kudurru referred, 
and it was believed that the carving of their figures 
or emblems upon the stone would ensure their inter- 
vention in case of any attempted infringement of the 
rights and privileges which it was the object of the 


document to commemorate and preserve. A photo- 
graphic reproduction of one side of the kudurru of Nazi- 
maruttash is shown in the accompanying illustration. 
There will be seen a representation of Gula or Bau, 
the mother of the gods, who is portrayed as seated on 
her throne and wearing the four-horned head-dress and 
a long robe that reaches to her feet. In the field are 
emblems of the Sun-god, the Moon-god, Ishtar, and other 
deities, and the representation of divine emblems and 
dwelling-places is continued on another face of the stone 
round the corner towards w T hich Gula is looking. The 
other two faces of the document are taken up with the 

An interesting note is appended to the text inscribed 
upon the stone, beginning under the throne and feet of 
Marduk and continuing under the emblems of the gods 
upon the other side. This note relates the history of 
the document in the following words: " In those days 
Kashakti-Shugab, the son of Nusku-na'id, inscribed 
(this document) upon a memorial of clay, and he set it 
before his god. But in the reign of Marduk-aplu-iddina, 
king of hosts, the son of Melishikhu, King of Babylon, 
the w T all fell upon this memorial and crushed it. Shu- 
khuli-Shugab, the son of Nibishiku, wrote a copy of 
the ancient text upon a new stone stele, and he set it 
(before the god)." It will be seen, therefore, that this 
actual stone that has been recovered was not the docu- 
ment drawn up in the reign of Nazimaruttash, but a 
copy made under Marduk-aplu-iddina, a later king of 
the Third Dynasty. The original deed was draw T n up 


to preserve the rights of Kashakti-Shugab, who shared 
the grant of land with the temple of Marduk. His share 
was less than half that of the temple, but, as both were 
situated in the same district, he was careful to enumer- 
ate and describe the temple's share, to prevent any 
encroachment on his rights by the Babylonian priests. 

It is probable that such grants of land were made 
to private individuals in return for special services 
which they had rendered to the king. Thus a broken 
kudurru among M. de Morgan's finds records the con- 
firmation of a man's claims to certain property by Biti- 
liash II, the claims being based on a grant made to the 
man's ancestor by Kurigalzu for services rendered to 
the king during his war with Assyria. One of the finest 
specimens of this class of charters or title-deeds has 
been found at Susa, dating from the reign of Melishi- 
khu, a king of the Third Dynasty. The document in 
question records a grant of certain property in the dis- 
trict of Bit-Pir-Shadu-rabu, near the cities Agade and 
Dur-Kurigalzu, made by Melishikhu to Marduk-aplu- 
iddina, his son, who succeeded him upon the throne of 
Babylon. The text first gives details with regard to 
the size and situation of the estates included in the grant 
of land, and it states the names of the high officials who 
were entrusted with the duty of measuring them. The 
remainder of the text defines and secures the privileges 
granted to Marduk-aplu-iddina together with the land, 
and, as it throws considerable light upon the system of 
land tenure at the period, an extract from it may here 
be translated. 





Inscribed with a text of Melishikhu, one of the kings of 
the Third or Kassite Dynasty of Babylon, recording a grant 
of certain property to Marduk-aplu-lddina, his son. The 
photograph is reproduced from M. de Morgan's Delegation 
en Perse, M6m., t. ii, pi. 24. 

" To prevent the encroachment on his land," the 
inscription runs, " thus hath he (i.e. the king) estab- 


lished his (Marduk-aplu-iddina's) charter. On his land 
taxes and tithes shall they not impose; ditches, limits, 
and boundaries shall they not displace; there shall be 
no plots, stratagems, or claims (with regard to his pos- 
session) ; for forced labour or public work for the pre- 
vention of floods, for the maintenance and repair of the 
royal canal under the protection of the towns of Bit- 
Sikkamidu and Damik-Adad, among the gangs levied 
in the towns of the district of Nina-Agade, they shall 
not call out the people of his estate; they are not liable 
to forced labour on the sluices of the royal canal, nor 
are they liable for building dams, nor for closing the 
canal, nor for digging out the bed thereof. A cultivator 
of his lands, whether hired or belonging to the estate, 
and the men who receive his instructions (i. e. his over- 
seers) shall no governor of Bit-Pir-Shadu-rabu cause to 
leave his lands, whether by the order of the king, or by 
the order of the governor, or by the order of whosoever 
may be at Bit-Pir-Shadu-rabu. On wood, grass, straw, 
corn, and every other sort of crop, on his carts and yoke, 
on his ass and man-servant, shall they make no levy. 
During the scarcity of water in the canal running be- 
tween the Rati-Anzanim canal and the canal of the royal 
district, on the waters of his ditch for irrigation shall 
they make no levy; from the ditch of his reservoir shall 
they not draw water, neither shall they divert (his water 
for) irrigation, and other land shall they not irrigate 
nor water therewith. The grass of his lands shall they 
not mow; the beasts belonging to the king or to a gov- 
ernor, which may be assigned to the district of Bit-Pir- 


Shadu-rabu, shall they not drive within his boundary, 
nor shall they pasture them on his grass. He shall not 
be forced to build a road or a bridge, whether for the 
king, or for the governor who may be appointed in the 
district of Bit-Pir-Shadu-rabu, neither shall he be liable 
for any new form of forced labour, which in the days 
that are to come a king, or a governor appointed in 
the district of Bit-Pir-Shadu-rabu, shall institute and 
exact, nor for forced labour long fallen into disuse which 
may be revived anew. To prevent encroachment on his 
land the king hath fixed the privileges of his domain, 
and that which appertaineth unto it, and all that he 
hath granted unto him; and in the presence of Shamash, 
and Marduk, and Anunitu, and the great gods of heaven 
and earth, he hath inscribed them upon a stone, and he 
hath left it as an everlasting memorial with regard to 
his estate." 

The whole of the text is too long to quote, and it 
will suffice to note here that Melishikhu proceeds to 
appeal to future kings to respect the land and privileges 
which he has granted to his son, Marduk-aplu-iddina, 
even as he himself has respected similar grants made 
by his predecessors on the throne; and the text ends 
with some very vivid curses against any one, whatever 
his station, who should make any encroachments on the 
privileges granted to Marduk-aplu-iddina, or should 
alter or do anv harm to the memorial-stone itself. The 
emblems of the gods whom Melishikhu invokes to 
avenge any infringement of his grant are sculptured 
upon one side of the stone, for, as has already been 


remarked, it was believed that by carving them upon 
the memorial-stone their help in guarding the stone 
itself and its enactments was assured. 

From the portion of the text inscribed upon the stone 
which has just been translated it is seen that the owner 
of land in Babylonia in the period of the Kassite kings, 
unless he was granted special exemption, was liable 
to furnish forced labour for public works to the state 
or to his district, to furnish grazing and pasture for 
the flocks and herds of the king or governor, and to pay 
various taxes and tithes on his land, his water for irri- 
gation, and his crops. From the numerous documents 
of the First Dynasty of Babylon that have been recov- 
ered and published within the last few years we know 
that similar customs were prevalent at that period, so 
that it is clear that the successive conquests to which 
the country was subjected, and the establishment of dif- 
ferent dynasties of foreign kings at Babylon, did not 
to any appreciable extent affect the life and customs 
of the inhabitants of the country or even the general 
character of its government and administration. Some 
documents of a commercial and legal nature, inscribed 
upon clay tablets during the reigns of the Kassite kings 
of Babylon, have been found at Mppur, but they have 
not yet been published, and the information we possess 
concerning the life of the people in this period is ob- 
tained indirectly from kudurrus or boundary-stones, 
such as those of Nazimaruttash and Melishikhu which 
have been already described. Of documents relating to 
the life of the people under the rule of the kings of the 



Country of the Sea we have none, and, with the excep- 
tion of the unpublished chronicle which has been de- 
scribed earlier in this chapter, our information for this 
period is confined to one or two short votive inscriptions. 
But the case is very different with regard to the reigns 
of the Semitic kings of the First Dynasty of Babylon. 
Thousands of tablets relating to legal and commercial 
transactions during this period have been recovered, and 
more recently a most valuable series of royal letters, 
written by Hammurabi and other kings of his dynasty, 
has been brought to light. Moreover, the recently dis- 
covered code of laws drawn up by Hammurabi contains 
information of the greatest interest with regard to the 
conditions of life that were prevalent in Babylonia at 
that period. From these three sources it is possible to 
draw up a comparatively full account of early Baby- 
lonian life and customs. 

Upper Part of the Stele of Hammurabi, King of Babylon. 

The stele is inscribed with his great code of laws. The Sun-god is represented as seated on a 
throne in the form of a temple facade, and his feet are resting upon the mountains. Photograph by 
Messrs. Mansell & Co. 




TN tracing the ancient history of Mesopotamia and the 
surrounding countries it is possible to construct a 
narrative which has the appearance of being compara- 
tively full and complete. With regard to Babylonia it 
may be shown how dynasty succeeded dynasty, and for 
long periods together the names of the kings have been 
recovered and the order of their succession fixed with 
certainty. But the number and importance of the orig- 
inal documents on which this connected narration is 
based vary enormously for different periods. Gaps 
occur in our knowledge of the sequence of events, which 
with some ingenuity may be bridged over by means of 
the native lists of kings and the genealogies furnished 
by the historical inscriptions. On the other hand, as if 
to make up for such parsimony, the excavations have 
yielded a wealth of material for illustrating the condi- 
tions of early Babylonian life which prevailed in such 
periods. The most fortunate of these periods, so far as 
the recovery of its records is concerned, is undoubtedly 



the period of the Semitic kings of the First Dynasty 
of Babylon, and in particular the reign of its greatest 
ruler, Hammurabi. When M. Maspero wrote his his- 
tory, thousands of clay tablets, inscribed with legal and 
commercial documents and dated in the reigns of these 
early kings, had already been recovered, and the infor- 
mation they furnished was duly summarized by him. 1 
But since that time two other sources of information 
have been made available which have largely increased 
our knowledge of the constitution of the early Baby- 
lonian state, its system of administration, and the con- 
ditions of life of the various classes of the population. 

One of these new sources of information consists of 
a remarkable series of royal letters, written by kings 
of the First Dynasty, which has been recovered and is 
now preserved in the British Museum. The letters were 
addressed to the governors and high officials of various 
great cities in Babylonia, and they contain the king's 
orders with regard to details of the administration of 
the country which had been brought to his notice. The 
range of subjects with which they deal is enormous, and 
there is scarcely one of them which does not add to our 
knowledge of the period. 2 The other new source of 
information is the great code of laws, drawn up by Ham- 

1 Most of these tablets are preserved in the British Museum. The principal 
works in which they have been published are Cuneiform Texts in the Biitish 
Museum (1896, 1 etc.), Strassmaier's Altbabylonischen Vertrage aus Warka, and 
Meissner's Beitrage zum altbabylonischen Privatrecht. A number of similar tablets 
of this period, preserved in the Pennsylvania Museum, will shortly be published 
by Dr. Ranke. 

2 See King, Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi, 3 vols. (1898-1900). 


murabi for the guidance of his people and defining the 
duties and privileges of all classes of his subjects, the 
discovery of which at Susa has been described in a pre- 
vious chapter. The laws are engraved on a great stele 
of diorite in no less than forty-nine columns of writing, 
of which forty-four are preserved, 1 and at the head of 
the stele is sculptured a representation of the king re- 
ceiving them from Shamash, the Sun-god. 2 

This code shows to what an extent the administra- 
tion of law and justice had been developed in Babylonia 
in the time of the First Dynasty. From the contracts 
and letters of the period we already knew that regular 
judges and duly appointed courts of law were in exist- 
ence, and the code itself was evidently intended by the 
king to give the royal sanction to a great body of legal 
decisions and enactments which already possessed the 
authority conferred by custom and tradition. The 
means by which such a code could have come into exist- 
ence are illustrated by the system of procedure adopted 
in the courts at this period. After a case had been heard 
and judgment had been given, a summary of the case 
and of the evidence, together with the judgment, was 
drawn up and written out on tablets in due legal form 
and phraseology. A list of the witnesses was appended, 
and, after the tablet had been dated and sealed, it Was 
stored away among the legal archives of the court, 
where it was ready for production in the event of any 
future appeal or case in which the recorded decision 

1 See Scheil, Delegation en Perse, Me'moires, tome iv (1902). 

2 See illustration. 


was involved. This procedure represents an advanced 
stage in the system of judicial administration, but the 
care which was taken for the preservation of the judg- 
ments given was evidently traditional, and would nat- 
urally give rise in course of time to the existence of a 
recognized code of laws. 

Moreover, when once a judgment had been given and 
had been duly recorded it was irrevocable, and if any 
judge attempted to alter such a decision he was severely 
punished. For not only was he expelled from his judg- 
ment-seat, and debarred from exercising judicial func- 
tions in the future, but, if his judgment had involved 
the infliction of a penalty, he was obliged to pay twelve 
times the amount to the man he had condemned. Such 
an enactment must have occasionally given rise to hard- 
ship or injustice, but at least it must have had the effect 
of imbuing the judges with a sense of their responsi- 
bility and of instilling a respect for their decisions in 
the minds of the people. A further check upon injustice 
was provided by the custom of the elders of the city, 
who sat with the judge $nd assisted him in the carrying 
out of his duties; and it was always open to a man, if 
he believed that he could not get justice enforced, to 
make an appeal to the king. It is not our present pur- 
pose to give a technical discussion of the legal contents 
of the code, but rather to examine it with the object 
of ascertaining what light it throws upon ancient Baby- 
lonian life and customs, and the conditions under which 
the people lived. 

The code gives a good deal of information with re- 


gard to the family life of the Babylonians, and, above 
all, proves the sanctity with which the marriage-tie was 
invested. The claims that were involved by marriage 
were not lightly undertaken. Any marriage, to be 
legally binding, had to be accompanied by a duly exe- 
cuted and attested marriage-contract. If a man had 
taken a woman to wife without having carried out this 
necessary preliminary, the woman was not regarded as 
his wife in the legal sense. On the other hand, when 
once such a marriage-contract had been drawn up, its 
inviolability was stringently secured. A case of proved 
adultery on the part of a man's wife was punished by 
the drowning of the guilty parties, though the husband 
of the woman, if he wished to save his wife, could do 
so by an appeal to the king. Similarly, death was the 
penalty for a man who ravished another man's betrothed 
wife while she was still living in her father's house, 
but in this case the girl's innocence and inexperience 
were taken into account, and no penalty was enforced 
against her and she was allowed to go free. Where the 
adultery of a wife was not proved, and only depended 
on the accusation of the husband, the woman could clear 
herself by swearing her own innocence ; if, however, the 
accusation was not brought by the husband himself, but 
by others, the woman could clear herself by submitting 
to the ordeal by water; that is to say, she would plunge 
into the Euphrates; if the river carried her away and 
she were drowned, it was regarded as proof that the 
accusation was well founded; if, on the contrary, she 
survived and got safely to the bank, she was considered 


innocent and was forthwith allowed to return to her 
household completely vindicated. 

It will have been seen that the duty of chastity on 
the part of a married woman was strictly enforced, but 
the husband's responsibility to properly maintain his 
wife was also recognized, and in the event of his deser- 
tion she could under certain circumstances become the 
wife of another man. Thus, if he left his city and fled 
from it of his own free will and deserted his wife, he 
could not reclaim her on his return, since he had not 
been forced to leave the city, but had done so because 
he hated it. This rule did not apply to the case of a 
man who was taken captive in battle. In such circum- 
stances the wife's action was to be guided by the condi- 
tion of her husband's affairs. If the captive husband 
possessed sufficient property on which his w T ife could 
be maintained during his captivity in a strange land, 
she had no reason nor excuse for seeking another mar- 
riage. If under these circumstances she became another 
man's wife, she was to be prosecuted at law, and, her 
action being the equivalent of adultery, she was to be 


drowned. But the case was regarded as altered if the 
captive husband had not sufficient means for the mainte- 
nance of his wife during his absence. The woman would 
then be thrown on her own resources, and if she became 
the wife of another man she incurred no blame. On the 
return of the captive he could reclaim his wife, but the 
children of the second marriage would remain with their 
own father. These regulations for the conduct of a 
woman, whose husband was captured in battle, give an 


intimate picture of the manner in which the constant 
wars of this early period affected the lives of those 
who took part in them. 

Under the Babylonians at the period of the First 
Dynasty divorce was strictly regulated, though it was 
far easier for the man to obtain one than for the woman. 
If we may regard the copies of Sumerian laws, which 
have come down to us from the late Assyrian period, 
as parts of the code in use under the early Sumerians, 
we must conclude that at this earlier period the law was 
still more in favour of the husband, who could divorce 
his wife whenever he so desired, merely paying her half 
a mana as compensation. Under the Sumerians the 
wife could not obtain a divorce at all, and the penalty 
for denying her husband was death. These regulations 
were modified in favour of the woman in Hammurabi's 
code ; for under its provisions, if a man divorced his wife 
or his concubine, he was obliged to make proper provi- 
sion for her maintenance. Whether she were barren 
or had borne him children, he was obliged to return her 
marriage portion; and in the latter case she had the 
custody of the children, for whose maintenance and edu- 
cation he was obliged to furnish the necessary supplies. 
Moreover, at the man's death she and her children would 
inherit a share of his property. When there had been 
no marriage portion, a sum was fixed which the husband 
was obliged to pay to his divorced wife, according to his 
status. In cases where the wife was proved to have 
wasted her household and to have entirely failed in her 
duty, her husband could divorce her without paying 


any compensation, or could make her a slave in his 
house, and the extreme penalty for this offence was 
death. On the other hand, a woman could not be di- 
vorced because she had contracted a permanent disease; 
and, if she desired to divorce her husband and could 
prove that her past life had been seemly, she could do 
so, returning to her father's house and taking her mar- 
riage portion with her. 

It is not necessary here to go very minutely into the 
regulations given by the code with regard to marriage 
portions, the rights of widows, the laws of inheritance, 
and the laws regulating the adoption and maintenance 
of children. The customs that already have been de- 
scribed with regard to marriage and divorce may serve 
to indicate the spirit in which the code is drawn up and 
the recognized status occupied by the wife in the Baby- 
lonian household. The extremely independent position 
enjoyed by women in the early Babylonian days is 
illustrated by the existence of a special class of women, 
to which constant reference is made in the contracts and 
letters of the period. When the existence of this class 
of women was first recdgnized from the references to 
them in the contract-tablets inscribed at the time of the 
First Dynasty, they were regarded as priestesses, but 
the regulations concerning them which occur in the code 
of Hammurabi prove that their duties were not strictly 
sacerdotal, but that they occupied the position of vo- 
taries. The majority of those referred to in the inscrip- 
tions of this period were vowed to the service of E-bab- 
bara, the temple of the Sun-god at Sippara, and of 


E-sagila, the great temple of Marduk at Babylon, but 
it is probable that all the great temples in the country 
had classes of female votaries attached to them. Prom 
the evidence at present available it may be concluded 
that the functions of these women bore no resemblance 
to that of the sacred prostitutes devoted to the service 
of the goddess Ishtar in the city of Erech. They seem 
to have occupied a position of great influence and inde- 
pendence in the community, and their duties and privi- 
leges were defined and safeguarded by special legis- 

Generally they lived together in a special building, 
or convent, attached to the temple, but they had con- 
siderable freedom and could leave the convent and also 
contract marriage. Their vows, however, while securing 
them special privileges, entailed corresponding responsi- 
bilities. Even when married a votary was still obliged 
to remain a virgin, and, should her husband desire to 
have children, she could not bear them herself, but must 
provide him with a maid or concubine. Also she had 
to maintain a high standard of moral conduct, for any 
breach of which severe penalties were enforced. Thus, 
if a votary who was not living in the convent opened 
a beer-shop, or should enter one for drink, she ran the 
risk of being put to death. But the privileges she 
enjoyed were also considerable, for even when unmar- 
ried she enjoyed the status of a married woman, and 
if any man slandered her he incurred the penalty of 
branding on the forehead. Moreover, a married votary, 
though she could not bear her husband children, was 


secured in her position as the permanent head of his 
household. The concubine she might give to her hus- 
band was always the wife's inferior, even after bearing 
him children, and should the former attempt to put her- 
self on a level of equality with the votary, the latter 
might brand her as a slave and put her with the female 
slaves. If the concubine proved barren she could be 
sold. The votary could also possess property, and on 
taking her vows was provided with a portion by her 
father exactly as though she were being given in mar- 
riage. Her portion was vested in herself and did not 
become the property of the order of votaries, nor of the 
temple to which she was attached. The proceeds of her 
property were devoted to her own maintenance, and 
on her father's death her brothers looked after her in- 
terests, or she might farm the property out. Under 
certain circumstances she could inherit property and 
was not obliged to pay taxes on it, and such property she 
could bequeath at her own death; but upon her death 
her portion returned to her own family unless her father 
had assigned her the privilege of bequeathing it. That 
the social position enjoyed by a votary was considerable 
is proved by the fact that many women of good family, 
and even members of the royal house, took vows. The 
existence of the order and its high repute indicate a 
very advanced conception of the position of women 
among the early Babylonians. 

From the code of Hammurabi we also gather con- 
siderable information with regard to the various classes 
of which the community was composed and to their rela- 


tive social positions. For the purposes of legislation 
the community was divided into three main classes or 
sections, which corresponded to well-defined strata in 
the social system. The lowest of these classes consisted 
of the slaves, who must have formed a considerable por- 
tion of the population. The class next above them 
comprised the large body of free men, who were pos- 
sessed of a certain amount of property but were poor 
and humble, as their name, mushkenu, implied. These 
we may refer to as the middle class. The highest, or 
upper class, in the Babylonian community embraced all 
the officers and ministers attached to the court, the 
higher officials and servants of the state, and the owners 
of considerable lands and estates. The differences which 
divided and marked off from one another the two great 
classes of free men in the population of Babylonia is 
well illustrated by the scale of payments as compensa- 
tion for injury which they were obliged to make or were 
entitled to receive. Thus, if a member of the upper class 
were guilty of stealing an ox, or a sheep, or an ass, or 
a pig, or a boat, from a temple or a private house, he 
had to pay the owner thirty times its value as compen- 
sation, whereas if the thief were a member of the middle 
class he only had to pay ten times its price, but if he 
had no property and so could not pay compensation he 
was put to death. The penalty for manslaughter was 
less if the assailant was a man of the middle class, and 
such a man could also divorce his wife more cheaply, 
and was privileged to pay his doctor or surgeon a 
smaller fee for a successful operation. 


But the privileges enjoyed by a man of the middle 
class were counterbalanced by a corresponding diminu- 
tion of the value at which his life and limbs were 
assessed. Thus, if a doctor by carrying out an opera- 
tion unskilfully caused the death of a member of the 
upper class, or inflicted a serious injury upon him, such 
as the loss of an eye, the punishment was the amputa- 
tion of both hands, but no such penalty seems to have 
been exacted if the patient were a member of the middle 
class. If, however, the patient were a slave of a member 
of the middle class, in the event of death under the 
operation, the doctor had to give the owner another 
slave, and in the event of the slave losing his eye, he 
had to pay the owner half the slave's value. Penalties 
for assault were also regulated in accordance with the 
social position and standing of the parties to the quarrel. 
Thus, if one member of the upper class knocked out 
the eye or the tooth of one of his equals, his own eye 
or his own tooth was knocked out as a punishment, and 
if he broke the limb of one of the members of his own 
class, he had his corresponding limb broken; but if he 
knocked out the eye of a member of the middle class, 
or broke his limb, he suffered no punishment in his own 
person, but was fined one mana of silver, and for knock- 
ing out the tooth of such a man he was fined one-third 
of a mana. If two members of the same class were 
engaged in a quarrel, and one of them made a peculiarly 
improper assault upon the other, the assailant was only 
fined, the fine being larger if the quarrel was between 
members of the upper class. But if such an assault 


was made by one man upon another who was of higher 
rank than himself, the assailant was punished by being 
publicly beaten in the presence of the assembly, when 
he received sixty stripes from a scourge of ox-hide. 
These regulations show the privileges and responsibil- 
ities which pertained to the two classes of free men 
in the Babylonian community, and they indicate the 
relative social positions which they enjoyed. 

Both classes of free men could own slaves, though 
it is obvious that they were more numerous in the house- 
holds and on the estates of members of the upper class. 
The slave was the absolute property of his master and 
could be bought and sold and employed as a deposit for 
a debt, but, though slaves as a class had few rights of 
their own, in certain circumstances they could acquire 
them. Thus, if the owner of a female slave had begot- 
ten children by her he could not use her as the payment 
for a debt, and in the event of his having done so he 
was obliged to ransom her by paying the original 
amount of the debt in money. It was also possible for 
a male slave, whether owned by a member of the upper 
or of the middle class, to marry a free woman, and if 
he did so, his children were free and did not become 
the property of his master. Also, if the free woman 
whom the slave married brought with her a marriage 
portion from her father's house, this remained her own 
property on the slave's death, and supposing the couple 
had acquired other property during the time they lived 
together as man and wife, the owner of the slave could 
only claim half of such property, the other half being 


retained by the free woman for her own use and for 
that of her children. 

Generally speaking, the lot of the slave was not a 
particularly hard one, for he was a recognized member 
of his owner's household, and, as a valuable piece of 
property, it was obviously to his owner's interest to 
keep him healthy and in good condition. In fact, the 
value of the slave is attested by the severity of the pen- 
alty imposed for abducting a male or female slave from 
the owner's house and removing him or her from the 
city; for a man guilty of this offence was put to death. 
The same penalty was imposed for harbouring and tak- 
ing possession of a runaway slave, whereas a fixed re- 
ward was paid by the owner to any one by whom a 
runaway slave was captured and brought back. Special 
legislation was also devised with the object of render- 
ing the theft of slaves difficult and their detection easy. 
Thus, if a brander put a mark upon a slave without the 
owner's consent, he was liable to have his hands cut 
off, and if he could prove that he did so through being 
deceived by another man,, that man was put to death. 
For bad offences slaves were liable to severe punish- 
ments, such as cutting off the ear, which was the penalty 
for denying his master, and also for making an aggra- 
vated assault on a member of the upper class of free 
men. But it is clear that on the whole the slave was 
well looked after. He was also not condemned to remain 
perpetually a slave, for while still in his master's serv- 
ice it was possible for him, under certain conditions, to 
acquire property of his own, and if he did so he was 


able with his master's consent to purchase his freedom. 
If a slave were captured by the enemy and taken to a 
foreign land and sold, and were then brought back by 
his new owner to his own country, he could claim his 
liberty without having to pay any purchase-money to 
either of his masters. 

The code of Hammurabi also contains detailed regu- 
lations concerning the duties of debtors and creditors, 
and it throws an interesting light on the commercial 
life of the Babylonians at this early period. For in- 
stance, it reveals the method by which a wealthy man, 
or a merchant, extended his business and obtained large 
profits by trading with other towns. This he did by 
employing agents who were under certain fixed obliga- 
tions to him, but acted independently so far as their 
trading was concerned. From the merchant these 
agents would receive money or grain or wool or oil or 
any sort of goods wherewith to trade, and in return 
they paid a fixed share of their profits, retaining the 
remainder as the recompense for their own services. 
They were thus the earliest of commercial travellers. 
In order to prevent fraud between the merchant and 
the agent special regulations were framed for the deal- 
ings they had with one another. Thus, when the agent 
received from the merchant the money or goods to trade 
with, it was enacted that he should at the time of the 
transaction give a properly executed receipt for the 
amount he had received. Similarly, if the agent gave 
the merchant money in return for the goods he had 
received and in token of his good faith, the merchant 



had to give a receipt to the agent, and in reckoning their 
accounts after the agent's return from his journey, only 
such amounts as were specified in the receipts were 

Dating from the period of the First Dynasty of Babylon. 

to be regarded as legal obligations. If the agent forgot 
to obtain his proper receipt he did so at his own risk. 
Travelling at this period was attended with some 
risk, as it is in the East at the present day, and the 
caravan with which an agent travelled was liable to 
attack from brigands, or it might be captured by ene- 
mies of the country from which it set out. It was right 


that loss from this cause should not be borne by the 
agent, who by trading with the goods was risking his 
own life, but should fall upon the merchant who had 
merely advanced the goods and was safe in his own city. 
It is plain, however, that disputes frequently arose in 
consequence of the loss of goods through a caravan 
being attacked and robbed, for the code states clearly 
the responsibility of the merchant in the matter. If in 
the course of his journey an enemy had forced the agent 
to give up some of the goods he was carrying, on his 
return the agent had to specify the amount on oath, 
and he was then acquitted of all responsibility in the 
matter. If he attempted to cheat his employer by mis- 
appropriating the money or goods advanced to him, on 
being convicted of the offence before the elders of the 
city, he was obliged to repay the merchant three times 
the amount he had taken. On the other hand, if the 
merchant attempted to defraud his agent by denying 
that the due amount had been returned to him, he was 
obliged on conviction to pay the agent six times the 
amount as compensation. It will thus be seen that the 
law sought to protect the agent from the risk of being 
robbed by his more powerful employer. 

The merchant sometimes furnished the agent with 
goods which he was to dispose of in the best markets 
he could find in the cities and towns along his route, and 
sometimes he would give the agent money with which 
to purchase goods in foreign cities for sale on his return. 
If the venture proved successful the merchant and his 
agent shared the profits between them, but if the agent 



made bad bargains he had to refund to the merchant 
the value of the goods he had received; if the merchant 
had not agreed to risk losing any profit, the amount to 
be refunded to him was fixed at double the value of the 
goods advanced. This last enactment gives an indica- 
tion of the immense profits which were obtained by both 
the merchant and the agent from this system of foreign 


trade, for it is clear that what was regarded as a fair 
profit for the merchant was double the value of the 
goods disposed of. The profits of a successful journey 
would also include a fair return to the agent for the 
trouble and time involved in his undertaking. Many 
of the contract tablets of this early period relate to such 
commercial journeys, which show that various bargains 
were made between the different parties interested, and 



sometimes such contracts, or partnerships, were entered 
into, not for a single journey only, but for long periods. 
We may therefore conclude that at the time of the 
First Dynasty of Babylon, and probably for long cen- 
turies before that period, the great trade-routes of the 
East were crowded with traffic. With the exception 
that donkeys and asses were employed for beasts of 
burden and were not supplemented by horses and camels 
until a much later period, a camping-ground in the 
desert on one of the great trade-routes must have pre- 


sented a scene similar to that of a caravan camping in 
the desert at the present day. The rough tracks beaten 
by the feet of men and beasts are the same to-day as 
they were in that remote period. We can imagine a 
body of these early travellers approaching a walled city 
at dusk and hastening their pace to get there before the 
gates were shut. Such a picture as that of the approach 
to the city of Samarra, with its mediaeval walls, may be 
taken as having had its counterpart in many a city of 
the early Babylonians. The caravan route leads through 
the desert to the city gate, and if we substitute two 



massive temple towers for the domes of the mosques 
that rise above the wall, little else in the picture need 
be changed. 

The houses, too, at this period must have resembled 
the structures of unburnt brick of the present day, with 
their flat mud tops, on which the inmates sleep at night 
during the hot season, supported on poles and brush- 


A small caravan is here seen approaching the city at sunset before the gates are shut. 
Samarra was only founded in a. d. 834, by the Khalif el-Motasim, the son cf Harun er-Rashid, 
but customs in the East do not change, and the photograph may be used to illustrate the 
approach of an early Babylonian caravan to a walled city of the period. 


wood. The code furnishes evidence that at that time, 
also, the houses were not particularly well built and 
were liable to fall, and, in the event of their doing so, 
it very justly fixes the responsibility upon the builder. 
It is clear from the penalties for bad workmanship 
enforced upon the builder that considerable abuses had 
existed in the trade before the time of Hammurabi, and 
it is not improbable that the enforcement of the pen- 
alties succeeded in stamping them out. Thus, if a 



builder built a house for a man, and his work was not 
sound and the house fell and crushed the owner so that 
he died, it was enacted that the builder himself should 
be put to death. If the fall of the house killed the 


owner's son, the builder's own son was to be put to 
death. If one or more of the owner's slaves were killed, 
the builder had to restore him slave for slave. Any 
damage which the owner's goods might have suffered 
from the fall of the house was to be made good by the 



builder. In addition to these penalties the builder was 
obliged to rebuild the house, or any portion of it that 
had fallen through not being properly secured, at his 
own cost. On the other hand, due provisions were made 
for the payment of the builder for sound work; and 
as the houses of the period rarely, if ever, consisted 


Situated on the right bank of the Tigris opposite the mounds which mark the site of the 
ancient city of Nineveh. The fiat- roofed houses which may be distinguished in the photograph 
are very similar in form and construction to those employed by the ancient Assyrians and 

of more than one story, the scale of payment was fixed 
by the area of ground covered by the building. 

From the code of Hammurabi w r e also gain consider- 
able information with regard to agricultural pursuits in 
ancient Babylonia, for elaborate regulations are given 
concerning the landowner's duties and responsibilities, 
and his relations to his tenants. The usual practice in 
hiring land for cultivation was for the tenant to pay 
his rent in kind, by assigning a certain proportion of 
the crop, generally a third or a half, to the owner. If 



a tenant hired certain land for cultivation he was bound 
to till it and raise a crop, and should he neglect to do 
so he had to pay the owner what was reckoned as the 
average rent of the land, and he had also to break up 
the land and plough it before handing it back. As the 
rent of a field was usually reckoned at harvest, and its 
amount depended on the size of the crop, it was only 


Built on one of the mounds marking the site of the Assyrian city of Nineveh. The mosque 
in the photograph is built over the traditional site of the prophet Jonah's tomb. The flat-roof ed 
houses of the modern dwellers on the mound can be well seen in the picture. 

fair that damage to the crop from flood or storm should 
not be made up by the tenant; thus it was enacted by 
the code that any loss from such a cause should be 
shared equally by the owner of the field and the farmer, 
though if the latter had already paid his rent at the 
time the damage occurred he could not make a claim 
for repayment. It is clear from the enactments of the 
code that disputes were frequent, not only between 
farmers and landowners, but also between farmers and 


shepherds. It is certain that the latter, in the attempt 
to find pasture for the flocks, often allowed their sheep 
to feed off the farmers' fields in the spring. This prac- 
tice the code set itself to prevent by fixing a scale of 
compensation to be paid by any shepherd who caused 
his sheep to graze on cultivated land without the own- 
er's consent. If the offence was committed in the early 
spring, when the crop was still small, the farmer was 
to harvest the crop and receive a considerable price in 
kind as compensation for the shepherd. But if it oc- 
curred later on in the spring, when the sheep had been 
brought in from the meadows and turned into the great 
common field at the city gate, the offence would less 
probably be due to accident and the damage to the crop 
would be greater. In these circumstances the shepherd 
had to take over the crop and pay the farmer very heav- 
ily for his loss. 

The planting of gardens and orchards was encour- 
aged, and a man was allowed to use a field for this pur- 
pose without paying a yearly rent. He might plant it 
and tend it for four years, and in the fifth year of his 


tenancy the original owner of the field took half of 
the garden in payment, while the other half the planter 
of the garden kept for himself. If a bare patch had 
been left in the garden it was to be reckoned in the 
planter's half. Regulations were framed to ensure the 
proper carrying out of the planting, for if the tenant 
neglected to do this during the first four years, he was 
still liable to plant the plot he had taken without receiv- 
ing his half, and he had to pay the owner compensation 

Portrait-sculpture of Hammurabi, King of Babylon - 
From a stone slab in the British Museum. 



in addition, which varied in amount according to the 
original condition of the land. If a man hired a garden, 
the rent he paid to the owner was fixed at two-thirds 
of its produce. Detailed regulations are also given in 
the code concerning the hire of cattle and asses, and 
the compensation to be paid to the owner for the loss 
or ill-treatment of his beasts. These are framed on the 
just principle that the hirer was responsible only for 
damage or loss which he could have reasonably pre- 
vented. Thus, if a lion killed a hired ox or ass in the 
open country, or if an ox was killed by lightning, the 
loss fell upon the owner and not on the man who hired 
the beast. But if the hirer killed the ox through care- 
lessness or by beating it unmercifully, or if the beast 
broke its leg while in his charge, he had to restore an- 
other ox to the owner in place of the one he had hired. 
For lesser damages to the beast the hirer had to pay 
compensation on a fixed scale. Thus, if the ox had its 
eye knocked out during the period of its hire, the man 
who hired it had to pay to the owner half its value; 
while for a broken horn, the loss of the tail, or a torn 
muzzle, he paid a quarter of the value of the beast. 

Fines were also levied for carelessness in looking 
after cattle, though in cases of damage or injury, where 
carelessness could not be proved, the owner of a beast 
was not held responsible. A bull might go wild at any 
time and gore a man, however careful and conscientious 
the owner might be, and in these circumstances the 
injured man could not bring an action against the owner. 
But if a bull had already gored a man, and, although 


it was known to be vicious, the owner had not blunted 
its horns or shut it up, in the event of its goring and 
killing a free man, he had to pay half a mana of silver. 
One-third of a mana was the price paid for a slave who 
was killed. A landed proprietor who might hire farmers 
to cultivate his fields inflicted severe fines for acts of 
dishonesty with regard to the cattle, prove'nder, or seed- 
corn committed to their charge. If a man stole the 
provender for the cattle he had to make it good, and 
he was also liable to the punishment of having his hands 
cut off. In the event of his being convicted of letting 
out the oxen for hire, or stealing the seed-corn so that 
he did not produce a crop, he had to pay very heavy 
compensation, and, if he could not pay, he was liable 
to be torn to pieces by the oxen in the field he should 
have cultivated. 

In a dry land like Babylonia, where little rain falls 
and that in only one season of the year, the irrigation 
of his fields forms one of the most important duties of 
the agriculturist. The farmer leads the water to his 
fields along small irrigation-canals or channels above 
the level of the soil, their sides being formed of banks 
of earth. It is clear that similar methods were employed 
by the early Babylonians. One such channel might sup- 
ply the fields of several farmers, and it was the duty 
of each man through whose land the channel flowed to 
keep its banks on his land in repair. If he omitted 
to strengthen his bank or dyke, and the water forced 
a breach and flooded his neighbour's field, he had to pay 
compensation in kind for any crop that was ruined; 


while if he could not pay, he and his goods were sold, 
and his neighbours, whose fields had been damaged 
through his carelessness, shared the money. 

The land of Babylonian farmers was prepared for 
irrigation before it was sown by being divided into a 
number of small square or oblong tracts, each separated 
from the others by a low bank of earth, the seed being 
afterwards sown within the small squares or patches. 
Some of the banks running lengthwise through the field 
were made into small channels, the ends of which were 
carried up to the bank of the nearest main irrigation 
canal. No system of gates or sluices was employed, and 
when the farmer wished to water one of his fields he 
simply broke away the bank opposite one of his small 
channels and let the water flow into it. He would let 
the water run along this small channel until it reached 
the part of his land he wished to water. He then 
blocked the channel with a little earth, at the same time 
breaking down its bank so that the water flowed over 
one of the small squares and thoroughly soaked it. 
When this square was finished he filled up the bank and 
repeated the process for the next square, and so on until 
he had watered the necessary portion of the field. When 
this was finished he returned to the main channel and 
stopped the flow of the water by blocking up the hole 
he had made in the dyke. The whole process was, and 
to-day still is, extremely simple, but it needs care and 
vigilance, especially in the case of extensive irrigation 
when water is being carried into several parts of an 
estate at once. It will be obvious that any carelessness 


on the part of the irrigator in not shutting off the water 
in time may lead to extensive damage, not only to his 
own fields, but to those of his neighbours. In the early 
Babylonian period, if a farmer left the water running 
in his channel, and it flooded his neighbour's field and 
hurt his crop, he had to pay compensation according 
to the amount of damage done. 

It was stated above that the irrigation-canals and 
little channels were made above the level of the soil 
so that the water could at any point be tapped and 
allowed to flow over the surrounding land; and in a flat 
country like Babylonia it will be obvious that some 
means had to be employed for raising the water from 
its natural level to the higher level of the land. As we 
should expect, reference is made in the Babylonian in- 
scriptions to irrigation-machines, and, although their 
exact form and construction are not described, they 
must have been very similar to those employed at the 
present day. The modern inhabitants of Mesopotamia 
employ four sorts of contrivances for raising the water 
into their irrigation-chani^els ; three of these are quite 
primitive, and are those most commonly employed. The 
method which gives the least trouble and which is 
used wherever the conditions allow is a primitive form 
of water-wheel. This can be used only in a river with 
a good current. The wheel is formed of rough boughs 
and branches nailed together, with spokes joining the 
outer rims to a roughly hewn axle. A row of rough 
earthenware cups or bottles are tied round the outer 
rim for picking up the water, and a few rough paddles 



are fixed so that they stick out beyond the rim. The 
wheel is then fixed in place near the bank of the river, 
its axle resting in pillars of rough masonry. As the 
current turns the wheel, the bottles on the rim dip below 
the surface and are raised up full. At the top of the 
wheel is fixed a trough made by hollowing half the trunk 
of a date-palm, and into this the bottles pour their water, 


which is conducted from the trough by means of a small 
aqueduct into the irrigation-channel on the bank. 

The convenience of the water-wheel will be obvious, 
for the water is raised without the labour of man or 
beast, and a constant supply is secured day and night 
so long as the current is strong enough to turn the 
wheel. The water can be cut off by blocking the wheel 
or tying it up. These wheels are most common on the 
Euphrates, and are usually set up where there is a slight 
drop in the river bed and the water runs swiftly over 
shallows. As the banks are very high, the wheels are 


necessarily huge contrivances in order to reach the level 
of the fields, and their very rough construction causes 
them to creak and groan as they turn with the current. 
In a convenient place in the river several of these are 
sometimes set up side by side, and the noise of their 
combined creakings can be heard from a great distance. 
Some idea of what one of these machines looks like can 
be obtained from the illustration. At Hit on the Eu- 
phrates a line of gigantic w r ater-wheels is built across 
the river, and the noise they make is extraordinary. 

Where there is no current to turn one of these 
wheels, or w^here the bank is too high, the water must 
be raised by the labour of man or beast. The common- 
est method, which is the one employed generally on the 
Tigris, is to raise it in skins, which are drawn up by 
horses, donkeys, or cattle. A recess with perpendicular 
sides is cut into the bank, and a wooden spindle on 
wooden struts is supported horizontally over the recess. 
A rope running over the spindle is fastened to the skin, 
while the funnel end of the skin is held up by a second 
rope, running over a lower spindle, until its mouth is 
opposite the trough into which the water is to be poured. 
The beasts which are employed for raising the skin are 
fastened to the ends of the ropes, and they get a good 
purchase for their pull by being driven down a short 
cutting or inclined plane in the bank. To get a constant 
flow of water, two skins are usually employed, and as 
one is drawn up full the other is let down empty. 

The third primitive method of raising water, which 
is commoner in Egypt than in Mesopotamia at the pres- 


ent day, is the shadduf, and is worked by hand. It con- 
sists of a beam supported in the centre, at one end of 
which is tied a rope with a bucket or vessel for raising 
the water, and at the other end is fixed a counterweight. 1 
On an Assyrian bas-relief found at Kuyunjik are rep- 
resentations of the shadduf in operation, two of them 
being used, the one above the other, to raise the water 
to successive levels. These were probably the contri- 
vances usually employed by the early Babylonians for 
raising the water to the level of their fields, and the 
fact that they were light and easily removed must have 
made them tempting objects to the dishonest farmer. 
Hammurabi therefore fixed a scale of compensation to 
be paid to the owner by a detected thief, which varied 
according to the class and value of the machine he stole. 
The rivers and larger canals of Babylonia were used 
by the ancient inhabitants not only for the irrigation 
of their fields, but also as waterways for the transport 
of heavy materials. The recently published letters of 
- Hammurabi and Abeshu' contain directions for the 
transportation of corn, dates, sesame seed, and wood, 
which were ordered to be brought in ships to Babylon, 
and the code of Hammurabi refers to the transportation 
by water of wool and oil. It is therefore clear that at 

1 The fourth class of machine for raising water employed in Mesopotamia 
at the present day consists of an endless chain of iron buckets running over a 
wheel. This is geared by means of rough wooden cogs to a horizontal wheel, 
the spindle of which has long poles fixed to it, to which horses or cattle are 
harnessed. The beasts go round in a circle and so turn the machine. The con- 
trivance is not so primitive as the three described above, and the iron buckets 
are of European importation. 


this period considerable use was made of vessels of dif- 
ferent size for conveying supplies in bulk by water. 
The method by which the size of such ships and barges 
was reckoned was based on the amount of grain they 
were capable of carrying, and this was measured by the 
gur, the largest measure of capacity. Thus mention is 
made in the inscriptions of vessels of five, ten, fifteen, 
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, and seventy-five gur 
capacity. A boat-builder's fee for building a vessel of 
sixty gur was fixed at two shekels of silver, and it was 
proportionately less for boats of smaller capacity. To 
ensure that the boat-builder should not scamp his work, 
regulations were drawn up to fix on him the responsi- 
bility for unsound work. Thus if a boat-builder were 
employed to build a vessel, and he put faulty work into 
its construction so that it developed defects within a 
year of its being launched, he was obliged to strengthen 
and rebuild it at his own expense. 

The hire of a boatman was fixed at six gur of corn 
to be paid him yearly, but it is clear that some of the 
larger vessels carried crews r commanded by a chief boat- 
man, or captain, whose pay was probably on a larger 
scale. If a man let his boat to a boatman, the latter 
was responsible for losing or sinking it, and he had to 
replace it. A boatman was also responsible for the 
safety of his vessel and of any goods, such as corn, wool, 
oil, or dates, which he had been hired to transport, and 
if they were sunk through his carelessness he had to 
make good the loss. If he succeeded in refloating the 
boat after it had been sunk, he was only under obligation 



to pay the owner half its value in compensation for the 
damage it had sustained. In the case of a collision 
between two vessels, if one was at anchor at the time, 
the owner of the other vessel had to pay compensation 
for the boat that was sunk and its cargo, the owner of 
the latter estimating on oath the value of what had been 
sunk. Boats were also employed as ferries, and they 
must have resembled the primitive form of ferry-boat 


Employed for ferrying caravans across the river. 

in use at the present day, which is heavily built of huge 
timbers, and employed for transporting beasts as well 
as men across a river. 

There is evidence that under the Assyrians rafts 
floated on inflated skins were employed for the transport 
of heavy goods, and these have survived in the keleks 
of the present day. They are specially adapted for the 
transportation of heavy materials, for they are carried 
down by the current, and are kept in the course by 



means of huge sweeps or oars. Being formed only of 
logs of wood and skins, they are not costly, for wood 
is plentiful in the upper reaches of the rivers. At the 
end of their journey, after the goods are landed, they 
are broken up. The wood is sold at a profit, and the 
skins, after being deflated, are packed on to donkeys 
to return by caravan. It is not improbable that such 
rafts were employed on the Tigris and the Euphrates 
from the earliest periods of Chaldaean history, though 



boats would have been used on the canals and more 
sluggish waterways. 

In the preceding pages we have given a sketch of 
the more striking aspects of early Babylonian life, on 
which light has been thrown by recently discovered 
documents belonging to the period of the First Dynasty 
of Babylon. We have seen that, in the code of laws 
drawn up by Hammurabi, regulations were framed for 
settling disputes and fixing responsibilities under almost 



every condition and circumstance which might arise 
among the inhabitants of the country at that time; and 
the question naturally arises as to how far the code of 
laws was in actual operation. It is conceivable that 
the king may have held admirable convictions, but have 
been possessed of little power to carry them out and 
to see that his regulations were enforced. Luckily, we 
have not to depend on conjecture for settling the ques- 

^, * 

mmmmm-'.: mwp^mi. 



tion, for Hammurabi's own letters which are now pre- 
served in the British Museum afford abundant evidence 
of the active control which the king exercised over every 
department of his administration and in every province 
of his empire. In the earlier periods of history, when 
each city lived independently of its neighbours and had 
its own system of government, the need for close and 
frequent communication between them was not pressing, 
but this became apparent as soon as they were welded 
together and formed parts of an extended empire. Thus 


in the time of Sargon of Agade, about 3800 b. a, an 
extensive system of royal convoys was established be- 
tween the principal cities. At Telloh the late M. de 
Sarzec came across numbers of lumps of clay bearing 
the seal impressions of Sargon and of his son Naram- 
Sin, which had been used as seals and labels upon pack- 
ages sent from Agade to Shirpurla. In the time of 
Dungi, King of Ur, there was a constant interchange 
of officials between the various cities of Babylonia and 
Elam, and during the more recent diggings at Telloh 
there have been found vouchers for the supply of food 
for their sustenance when stopping at Shirpurla in the 
course of their journeys. In the case of Hammurabi 
we have recovered some of the actual letters sent by 
the king himself to Sin-idinnam, his local governor in 
the city of Larsam, and from them we gain considerable 
insight into the principles which guided him in the 
administration of his empire. 

The letters themselves, in their general character- 
istics, resembled the contract tablets of the period which 
have been already described. They were written on 
small clay tablets oblong in shape, and as they were only 
three or four inches long they could easily be carried 
about the person of the messenger into whose charge 
they were delivered. After the tablet was written it 
was enclosed in a thin envelope of clay, having been 
first powdered with dry clay to prevent its sticking to 
the envelope. The name of the person for whom the 
letter was intended was written on the outside of the 
envelope, and both it and the tablet were baked hard 


to ensure that they should not be broken on their travels. 
The recipient of the letter, on its being delivered to him, 
broke the outer envelope by tapping it sharply, and it 
then fell away in pieces, leaving the letter and its mes- 
sage exposed. The envelopes were very similar to those 
in which the contract tablets of the period were enclosed, 
of which illustrations have already been given, their only 
difference being that the text of the tablet was not 
repeated on the envelope, as was the case with the 
former class of documents. 

The royal letters that have been recovered throw 
little light on military affairs and the prosecution of 
campaigns, for, being addressed to governors of cities 
and civil officials, most of them deal with matters affect- 
ing the internal administration of the empire. One let- 
ter indeed contains directions concerning the movements 
of two hundred and forty soldiers of " the King's Com- 
pany " who had been stationed in Assyria, and another 
letter mentions certain troops who were quartered in 
the city of Ur. A third deals with the supply of cloth- 
ing and oil for a section of the Babylonian army, and 
troops are also mentioned as having formed the escort 
for certain goddesses captured from the Elamites; while 
directions are sent to others engaged in a campaign upon 
the Elamite frontier. The letter which contains direc- 
tions for the safe escort of the captured Elamite god- 
desses, and the one ordering the return of these same 
goddesses to their own shrines, show that foreign deities, 
even when captured from an enemy, were treated by the 
Babylonians with the same respect and reverence that 


was shown by them to their own gods and goddesses. 
Hammurabi gave directions in the first letter for the 
conveyance of the goddesses to Babylon with all due 
pomp and ceremony, sheep being supplied for sacrifice 
upon the journey, and their usual rites being performed 
by their own temple-women and priestesses. The king's 
voluntary restoration of the goddesses to their own 
country may have been due to the fact that, after 
their transference to Babylon, the army of the Baby- 
lonians suffered defeat in Elam. This misfortune would 
naturalty have been ascribed by the king and the priests 
to the anger of the Elamite goddesses at being detained 
in a foreign land, and Hammurabi probably arrived at 
his decision that they should be escorted back in the 
hope of once more securing victory for the Babylonian 

The care which the king exercised for the due wor- 
ship of his own gods and the proper supply of their 
temples is well illustrated from the letters that have 
been recovered, for he superintended the collection of 
the temple revenues, and the herdsmen and shepherds 
attached to the service of the gods sent their reports 
directly to him. He also took care that the observances 
of religious rites and ceremonies were duly carried out, 
and on one occasion he postponed the hearing of a law- 
suit concerning the title to certain property which was 
in dispute, as it would have interfered with the proper 
observance of a festival in the city of Ur. The plaintiff 
in the suit was the chief of the temple bakers, and it 
was his duty to superintend the preparation of certain 


offerings for the occasion. In order that he should not 
have to leave his duties, the king put off the hearing of 
the case until after the festival had been duly celebrated. 
The king also exercised a strict control over the priests 
themselves, and received reports from the chief priests 
concerning their own subordinates, and it is probable 
that the royal sanction was obtained for all the princi- 
pal appointments. The guild of soothsayers was an 
important religious class at this time, and they also 
were under the king's direct control. A letter written 
by Ammiditana, one of the later kings of the First 
Dynasty, to three high officials of the city of Sippar, 
contains directions with regard to certain duties to be 
carried out by the soothsayers attached to the service 
of the city, and indicates the nature of their functions. 
Ammiditana wrote to the officials in question, stating 
that there was a scarcity of corn in the city of Shagga, 
and he therefore ordered them to send a supply thither. 
But before the corn was brought into the city they were 
told to consult the soothsayers, who were to divine the 
future and ascertain whether the omens were favour- 
able. If they proved to be so, the corn was to be brought 
in. We may conjecture that the king took this precau- 
tion, as he feared the scarcity of corn in Shagga was 
due to the anger of some local deity or spirit, and that, 
if this were the case, the bringing in of the corn would 
only lead to fresh troubles. This danger it was the duty 
of the soothsayers to prevent. 

Another class of the priesthood, which we may infer 
was under the king's direct control, was the astrol- 


ogcrs, whose duty it probably was to make reports to 
the king of the conjunctions of the heavenly bodies, with 
a view to ascertaining whether they portended good or 
evil to the state. No astrological reports written in this 
early period have been recovered, but at a later period 
under the Assyrian empire the astrologers reported reg- 
ularly to the king on such matters, and it is probable 
that the practice was one long established. One of 
Hammurabi's letters proves that the king regulated the 
calendar, and it is legitimate to suppose that he sought 
the advice of his astrologers as to the times when inter- 
calary months were to be inserted. The letter dealing 
with the calendar was written to inform Sin-idinnam, the 
governor of Larsam, that an intercalary month was to 
be inserted. " Since the year (i. e. the calendar) hath a 
deficiency/' he writes, " let the month which is now 
beginning be registered as a second Elul," and the king 
adds that this insertion of an extra month will not 
justify any postponement in the payment of the regular 
tribute due from the city of Larsam, which had to be 
paid a month earlier than usual to make up for the 
month that was inserted. The intercalation of addi- 
tional months was due to the fact that the Babylonian 
months were lunar, so that the calendar had to be cor- 
rected at intervals to make it correspond to the solar 

From the description already given of the code of 
laws drawn up by Hammurabi it will have been seen 
that the king attempted to incorporate and arrange a 
set of regulations which should settle any dispute likely 


to arise with regard to the duties and privileges of all 
classes of his subjects. That this code was not a dead 
letter, but was actively administered, is abundantly 
proved by many of the letters of Hammurabi which have 
been recovered. Prom these we learn that the king took 
a very active part in the administration of justice in 
the country, and that he exercised a strict supervision, 
not only over the cases decided in the capital, but also 
over those which were tried in the other great cities and 
towns of Babylonia. Any private citizen was entitled 
to make a direct appeal to the king for justice, if he 
thought he could not obtain it in his local court, and 
it is clear from Hammurabi's letters that he always 
listened to such an appeal and gave it adequate consid- 
eration. The king was anxious to stamp out all cor- 
ruption on the part of those who were invested with 
authority, and he had no mercy on any of his officers 
who were convicted of taking bribes. On one occasion 
when he had been informed of a case of bribery in the 
city of Dur-gurgurri, he at once ordered the governor 
of the district in which Dur-gurgurri lay to investigate 
the charge and send to Babylon those who were proved 
to be guilty, that they might be punished. He also 
ordered that the bribe should be confiscated and des- 
patched to Babylon under seal, a wise provision which 
must have tended to discourage those who were inclined 
to tamper with the course of justice, while at the same 
time it enriched the state. It is probable that the king 
tried all cases of appeal in person when it was possible 
to do so. But if the litigants lived at a considerable dis- 


tance from Babylon, he gave directions to his local 
officials on the spot to try the case. When he was con- 
vinced of the justice of any claim, he would decide the 
case himself and send instructions to the local authori- 
ties to see that his decision was duly carried out. It 
is certain that many disputes arose at this period in 
consequence of the extortions of money-lenders. These 
men frequently laid claim in a fraudulent manner to 
fields and estates which they had received in pledge as 
security for seed-corn advanced by them. In cases 
where fraud was proved Hammurabi had no mercy, and 
summoned the money-lender to Babylon to receive pun- 
ishment, however wealthy and powerful he might be. 

A subject frequently referred to in Hammurabi's let- 
ters is the collection of revenues, and it is clear that 
an elaborate system was in force throughout the country 
for the levying and payment of tribute to the state by 
the principal cities of Babylonia, as well as for the col- 
lection of%rent and revenue from the royal estates and 
from the lands which were set apart for the supply of 
the great temples. Collectors of both secular and relig- 


ious tribute sent reports directly to the king, and if 
there was any deficit in the supply which was expected 
from a collector he had to make it up himself; but 
the king was always ready to listen to and investigate 
a complaint and to enforce the payment of tribute or 
taxes so that the loss should not fall upon the collector. 
Thus, in one of his letters Hammurabi informs the gov- 
ernor of Larsam that a collector named Sheb-Sin had 
reported to him, saying " Enubi-Marduk hath laid hands 


upon the money for the temple of Bit-il-kittim (i. e. 
the great temple of the Sim-god at Larsam) which is 
due from the city of Dur-gurgurri and from the (region 
round about the) Tigris, and he hath not rendered the 
full sum; and Gimil-Marduk hath laid hands upon the 
money for the temple of Bit-il-kittim which is due from 
the city of Rakhabu and from the region round about 
that city, and he hath not (paid) the full amount. But 
the palace hath exacted the full sum from me." It is 
probable that both Enubi-Marduk and Gimil-Marduk 
were money-lenders, for we know from another letter 
that the former had laid claim to certain property on 
which he had held a mortgage, although the mortgage 
had been redeemed. In the present case they had prob- 
ably lent money or seed-corn to certain cultivators of 
land near Dur-gurgurri and Rakhabu and along the 
Tigris, and in settlement of their claims they had seized 
the crops and had, moreover, refused to pay to the king's 
officer the proportion of the crops that was due to the 
state as taxes upon the land. The governor of Larsam, 
the principal city in the district, had rightly, as the 
representative of the palace (i. e. the king), caused the 
tax-collector to make up the deficiency, but Hammurabi, 
on receiving the subordinate officer's complaint, referred 
the matter back to the governor. The end of the letter 
is wanting, but we may infer that Hammurabi con- 
demned the defaulting money-lenders to pay the taxes 
due, and fined them in addition, or ordered them to be 
sent to the capital for punishment. 

On another occasion Sheb-Sin himself and a second 


tax-collector named Sin-mushtal appear to have been 
in fault and to have evaded coming to Babylon when 
summoned thither by the king. It had been their duty 
to collect large quantities of sesame seed as well as taxes 
paid in money. When first summoned, they had made 
the excuse that it was the time of harvest and they 
would come after the harvest was over. But as they 
did not then make their appearance, Hammurabi wrote 
an urgent letter insisting that they should be despatched 
with the full amount of the taxes due, in the company 
of a trustworthy officer who would see that they duly 
arrived at the capital. 

Tribute on flocks and herds was also levied by the 
king, and collectors or assessors of the revenue were 
stationed in each district, whose duty it was to report 
any deficit in the revenue accounts. The owners of 
flocks and herds were bound to bring the young cattle 
and lambs that were due as tribute to the central city 
of the district in which they dwelt, and they were then 
collected into large bodies and added to the royal flocks 
and herds; but, if the owners attempted to hold back 
any that were due as tribute, they w r ere afterwards 
forced to incur the extra expense and trouble of driving 
the beasts to Babylon. The flocks and herds owned by 
the king and the great temples were probably enormous, 
and yielded a considerable revenue in themselves apart 
from the tribute and taxes due from private owners. 
Shepherds and herdsmen were placed in charge of them, 
and they were divided into groups under chief shep- 
herds, who arranged the districts in which the herds 


and flocks were to be grazed, distributing them when 
possible along the banks and in the neighbourhood of 
rivers and canals which would afford good pasturage 
and a plentiful supply of water. The king received 
reports from the chief shepherds and herdsmen, and it 
was the duty of the governors of the chief cities and 
districts of Babylonia to make tours of inspection and 
see that due care was taken of the royal flocks and 
sheep. The sheep-shearing for all the flocks that were 
pastured near the capital took place in Babylon, and 
the king used to send out summonses to his chief shep- 
herds to inform them of the day when the shearing 
would take place; and it is probable that the governors 
of the other great cities sent out similar orders to the 
shepherds of flocks under their charge. Royal and 
priestly flocks were often under the same chief officer, 
a fact which shows the very strict control the king exer- 
cised over the temple revenues. 

The interests of the agricultural population were 
strictly looked after by the king, who secured a proper 
supply of water for purposes of irrigation by seeing 
that the canals and waterways were kept in a proper 
state of repair and cleaned out at regular intervals. 
There is also evidence that nearly every king of the 
First Dynasty of Babylon cut new canals, and extended 
the system of irrigation and transportation which had 
been handed down to him from his fathers. The drain- 
ing of the marshes and the proper repair of the canals 
could only be carried out by careful and continuous 
supervision, and it was the duty of the local governors 


to see that the inhabitants of villages and owners of 
land situated on the banks of a canal should keep it in 
proper order. When this duty had been neglected com- 
plaints were often sent to the king, who gave orders 
to the local governor to remedy the defect. Thus on 
one occasion it had been ordered that a canal at Erech 
which had silted up should be deepened, but the dredg- 
ing had not been carried out thoroughly, so that the 
bed of the canal soon silted up again and boats were 
prevented from entering the city. In these circum- 
stances Hammurabi gave pressing orders that the ob- 
struction was to be removed and the canal made navi- 
gable within three days. 

Damage was often done to the banks of canals by 
floods which followed the winter rains, and a letter of 
Abeshu' gives an interesting account of a sudden rise 
of the water in the Irnina canal so that it overflowed 
its banks. The king was building a palace at the city 
of Kar-Irnina, which was supplied by the Irnina canal, 
and every year it was possible to put so much work 
into the building. But one year, when little more than 
a third of the year's work was done, the building opera- 
tions were stopped by flood, the canal having overflowed 
its banks so that the water rose right up to the wall 
of the town. In return for the duty of keeping the 
€anals in order, the villagers along the banks had the 
privilege of fishing in its waters in the portion which 
was in their charge, and any poaching by other villagers 
in this part of the stream was strictly forbidden. On 
one occasion, in the reign of Samsu-iluna, Hammurabi's 


son and successor, the fishermen of the district of Rabim 
went down in their boats to the district of Shakanim 
and caught fish there contrary to the law. So the 
inhabitants of Shakanim complained of this poaching 
to the king, who sent a palace official to the authorities 
of Sippar, near which city the districts in question lay, 
with orders to inquire into the matter and take steps 
to prevent all such poaching for the future. 

The regulation of transportation on the canals was 
also under the royal jurisdiction. The method of reck- 
oning the size of ships has already been described, and 
there is evidence that the king possessed numerous ves- 
sels of all sizes for the carrying of grain, wool, and 
dates, as well as for the wood and stone employed in 
his building operations. Each ship seems to have had 
its own crew, under the command of a captain, and it 
is probable that officials who regulated the transporta- 
tion from the centres where they were stationed were 
placed in charge of separate sections of the rivers and 
of the canals. 

It is obvious, from the account that has been given 
of the numerous operations directly controlled and 
superintended by the king, that he had need of a very 
large body of officials, by whose means he was enabled 
to carry out successfully the administration of the coun- 
try. In the course of the account we have made mention 
of the judges and judicial officers, the assessors and 
collectors of revenue, and the officials of the palace who 
were under the king's direct orders. It is also obvious 
that different classes of officers were in charge of all 


the departments of the administration. Two classes 
of officials, who were placed in charge of the public 
works and looked after and controlled the public slaves, 
and probably also had a good deal to do with the col- 
lection of the revenue, had special privileges assigned 
to them, and special legislation was drawn up to protect 
them in the enjoyment of the same. As payment for 
their duties they were each granted land with a house 
and garden, they were assigned the use of certain sheep 
and cattle with which to stock their land, and in addi- 
tion they received a regular salary. They were in a 
sense personal retainers of the king and were liable to 
be sent at any moment on a special mission to carry 
out the king's commands. Disobedience was severely 
punished; for, if such an officer, when detailed for a 
special mission, did not go but hired a substitute, he 
was liable to be put to death and the substitute he had 
hired could take his office. Sometimes an officer was 
sent for long periods some distance from his home to 
take charge of a garrison, and when this was done his 
home duties were performed by another man, who tem- 
porarily occupied his house and land, but gave it back 
to the officer on his return. If such an officer had a 
son old enough to perform his duty in his father's 
absence, he was allowed to do so and to till his father's 
lands; but if the son was too young, the substitute who 
took the officer's place had to pay one-third of the prod- 
uce of the land to the child's mother for his education. 
Before departing on his journey to the garrison it was 
the officer's duty to arrange for the proper cultivation 


of his land and the discharge of his local duties during 
his absence. If he omitted to do so and left his land 
and duties neglected for more than a year, and another 
had meanwhile taken his place, on his return he could 
not reclaim his land and office. It will be obvious, there- 
fore, that his position was a specially favoured one and 
much sought after, and these regulations ensured that 
the duties attaching to the office were not neglected. 

In the course of his garrison duty or when on special 
service, these officers ran some risk of being captured 
by the enemy, and in that event regulations were drawn 
up for their ransom. If the captured officer was wealthy 
and could pay for his own ransom, he was bound 
to do so, but if he had not the necessary means his 
ransom was to be paid out of the local temple treasury, 
and, when the funds in the temple treasury did not suf- 
fice, he was to be ransomed by the state. It was spe- 
cially enacted that his land and garden and house were 
in no case to be sold in order to pay for his ransom. 
These were inalienably attached to the office which he 
held, and he was not allowed to sell them or the sheep 
and cattle with which they were stocked. Moreover, 
he was not allowed to bequeath any of this property to 
his wife or daughter, so that his office would appear to 
have been hereditary and the property attached to it 
to have been entailed on his son if he succeeded him. 
Such succession would not, of course, have taken place 
if the officer by his own neglect or disobedience had for- 
feited his office and its privileges during his lifetime. 

It has been suggested with considerable probability 


that these officials were originally personal retainers 
and follows of Sumu-abu, the founder of the First Dy- 
nasty of Babylon. They were probably assigned lands 
throughout the country in return for their services to 
the king, and their special duties were to preserve order 
and uphold the authority of their master. In the course 
of time their duties were no doubt modified, but they 
retained their privileges and they must have continued 
to be a very valuable body of officers, on whose personal 
loyalty the king could always rely. In the preceding 
chapter we have already seen how grants of considerable 
estates were made by the Kassite kings of the Third 
Dynasty to followers who had rendered conspicuous 
services, and at the same time they received the privi- 
lege of holding such lands free of all liability to forced 
labour and the payment of tithes and taxes. We may 
conclude that the class of royal officers under the kings 
of the First Dynasty had a similar origin. 

In the present chapter, from information recently 
made available, we have given some account of the sys- 
tem of administration adopted by the early kings of 
Babylon, and we have described in some detail the vari- 
ous classes of the Babylonian population, their occupa- 
tions, and the conditions under which they lived. In 
the two preceding chapters we have dealt with the polit- 
ical history of Western Asia from the very earliest 
period of the Sumerian city-states down to the time of 
the Kassite kings. In the course of this account we 
have seen how Mesopotamia in the dawn of history was 
in the sole possession of the Sumerian race and how 


afterwards it fell in turn under the dominion of the 
Semites and the kings of Elam. The immigration of 
fresh Semitic tribes at the end of the third millennium 
before Christ resulted in the establishment in Babylon 
of the Semitic kings who are known as First Dynasty 
kings; and under the sway of Hammurabi, the greatest 
of this group of kings, the empire thus established in 
Western Asia had every appearance of permanence. Al- 
though Elam no longer troubled Babylon, a great danger 
arose from a new and unexpected quarter. In the Coun- 
try of the Sea— which comprised the districts in the 
extreme south of Babylonia on the shores of the Persian 
Gulf— the Sumerians had rallied their forces, and they 
now declared themselves independent of Babylonian 
control. A period of conflict followed between the kings 
of the First Dynasty and the kings of the Country of 
the Sea, in which the latter more than held their own; 
and, when the Hittite tribes of Syria invaded Northern 
Babylonia in the reign of Samsu-ditana, Babylon's 
power of resistance was so far weakened that she fell 
an easy prey to the rulers of the Country of the Sea. 
But the reappearance of the Sumerians in the role of 
leading race in Western Asia was destined not to last 
long, and was little more than the last flicker of vitality 
exhibited by this ancient and exhausted race. Thus the 
Second Dynasty fell in its turn before the onslaught 
of the Kassite tribes who descended from the mountain- 
ous districts in the west of Elam, and, having overrun 
the whole of Mesopotamia, established a new dynasty 
at Babylon, and adopted Babylonian civilization. 


With the advent of the Kassite kings a new chapter 
opens in the history of Western Asia. Up to that time 
Egypt and Babylon, the two chief centres of ancient 
civilization, had no doubt indirectly influenced one an- 
other, but they had not come into actual contact. Dur- 
ing the period of the Kassite kings both Babylon and 
Assyria established direct relations with Egypt, and 
from that time forward the influence they exerted upon 
one another was continuous and unbroken. We have 
already traced the history of Babylon up to this point 
in the light of recent discoveries, and a similar task 
awaits us with regard to Assyria. Before we enter into 
a discussion of Assyria's origin and early history in 
the light of recent excavation and research, it is neces- 
sary that we should return once more to Egypt, and 
describe the course of her history from the period when 
Thebes succeeded in displacing Memphis as the capital 




WE have seen that it was in the Theban period that 
Egypt emerged from her isolation, and for the first 
time came into contact with Western Asia. This grand 
turning-point in Egyptian history seemed to be the 
appropriate place at which to pause in the description 
of our latest knowledge of Egyptian history, in order 
to make known the results of archaeological discovery 
in Mesopotamia and Western Asia generally. The de- 
scription has been carried down past the point of con- 
vergence of the two originally isolated paths of Egyp- 
tian and Babylonian civilization, and what new informa- 
tion the latest discoveries have communicated to us on 
this subject has been told in the preceding chapters. 
We now have to retrace our steps to the point where 
we left Egyptian history and resume the thread of our 
Egyptian narrative. 

The Hyksos conquest and the rise of Thebes are 
practically contemporaneous. The conquest took place 
perhaps three or four hundred years after the first ad- 



vancement of Thebes to the position of capital of Egypt, 
but it must be remembered that this position was not 
retained during the time of the Xllth Dynasty. The 
kings of that dynasty, though they were Thebans, did 
not reign at Thebes. Their royal city was in the North, 
in the neighbourhood of Lisht and Medum, where their 
pyramids were erected, and their chief care was for the 
lake province of the Fayyum, which was largely the 
creation of Amenemhat III, the Moeris of the Greeks. 
It was not till Thebes became the focus of the national 
resistance to the Hyksos that its period of greatness 
began. Henceforward it was the undisputed capital of 
Egypt, enlarged and embellished by the care and munifi- 
cence of a hundred kings, enriched by the tribute of a 
hundred conquered nations. 

But were we to confine ourselves to the considera- 
tion only of the latest discoveries of Theban greatness 
after the expulsion of the Hyksos, we should be omitting 
much that is of interest and importance. For the Egyp- 
tians the first grand climacteric in their history (after 
the foundation of the monarchy) was the transference 
of the royal power from Memphis and Herakleopolis to 
a Theban house. The second, which followed soon after, 
was the Hyksos invasion. The two are closely connected 
in Theban history; it is Thebes that defeated Herakle- 
opolis and conquered Memphis; it is Theban power that 
was overthrown by the Hyksos; it is Thebes that ex- 
pelled them and initiated the second great period of 
Egyptian history. We therefore resume our narrative 
at a point before the great increase of Theban power at 


the time of the expulsion of the Hyksos, and will trace 
this power from its rise, which followed the defeat of 
Herakleopolis and Memphis. It is upon this epoch— 
the beginning of Theban power— that the latest dis- 
coveries at Thebes have thrown some new light. 

More than anywhere else in Egypt excavations have 
been carried on at Thebes, on the site of the ancient 
capital of the country. And here, if anywhere, it might 
have been supposed that there was nothing more to be 
found, no new thing to be exhumed from the soil, no 
new fact to be added to our knowledge of Egyptian 
history. Yet here, no less than at Abydos, has the 
archaeological exploration of the last few years been 
especially successful, and we have seen that the ancient 
city of Thebes has a great deal more to tell us than 
we had expected. 

The most ancient remains at Thebes were discovered 
by Mr. Newberry in the shape of two tombs of the Vlth 
Dynasty, cut upon the face of the well-known hill of 
Shekh Abd el-Kurna, on the west bank of the Nile oppo- 
site Luxor. Every winter traveller to Egypt knows well 
the ride from the sandy shore opposite the Luxor tem- 
ple, along the narrow pathway between the gardens and 
the canal, across the bridges and over the cultivated land 
to the Ramesseum, behind which rises Shekh Abd el- 
Kurna, with its countless tombs, ranged in serried rows 
along the scarred and scarped face of the hill. This hill, 
which is geologically a fragment of the plateau behind 
which some gigantic landslip was sent sliding in the 
direction of the river, leaving the picturesque gorge and 


cliffs of Der el-Bahari to mark the place from which 
it was riven, was evidently the seat of the oldest Theban 
necropolis. Here were the tombs of the Theban chiefs 
in the period of the Old Kingdom, two of which have 
been found by Mr. Newberry. In later times, it would 
seem, these tombs were largely occupied and remod- 
elled by the great nobles of the XVIIIth Dynasty, so 
that now nearly all the tombs extant on Shekh Abd 
el-Kurna belong to that dynasty. 

Of the Thebes of the IXth and Xth Dynasties, when 
the Herakleopolites ruled, we have in the British Mu- 
seum two very remarkable statues— one of which is here 
illustrated— of the steward of the palace, Mera. The 
tomb from which they came is not known. Both are 
very beautiful examples of the Egyptian sculptor's art, 
and are executed in a style eminently characteristic of 
the transition period between the work of the Old and 
Middle Kingdoms. As specimens of the art of the 
Hierakonpolite period, of which we have hardly any 
examples, they are of the greatest interest. Mera is 
represented wearing a different head-dress in each fig- 
ure; in one he has a short wig, in the other a skull- 

When the Herakleopolite dominion was finally over- 
thrown, in spite of the valiant resistance of the princes 
of Asyut, and the Thebans assumed the Pharaonic dig- 
nity, thus founding the Xlth Dynasty, the Theban 
necropolis was situated in the great bay in the cliffs, 
immediately north of Shekh Abd el-Kurna, which is 
known as Der el-Bahari. In this picturesque part of 

Statue of Mera. 

The Chief Steward, IXth Dynasty ; about 2800 B. C. From Thebes. 
Museum. Photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 




Western Thebes, in many respects perhaps the most 
picturesque place in Egypt, the greatest king of the 
XIth Dynasty, Neb-hapet-Ra Mentuhetep, excavated his 
tomb and built for the worship of his ghost a funerary 
temple, which he called Akh-aset, " Glorious-is-its-Sit- 
uation," a name fully justified by its surroundings. 
This temple is an entirely new discovery, made by Prof. 
Naville and Mr. Hall in 1903. The results obtained up 
to date have been of very great importance, especially 
with regard to the history of Egyptian art and archi- 
tecture, for our sources of information were few and 
we were previously not very well informed as to the 
condition of art in the time of the XIth Dynasty. 

The new temple lies immediately to the south of the 
great XVIIIth Dynasty temple at Der el-Bahari, which 
has always been known, and which was excavated first 
by Mariette and later by Prof. Naville, for the Egypt 
Exploration Fund. To the results of the later excava- 
tions we shall return. When they Were finally com- 
pleted, in the year 1898, the great XVIIIth Dynasty 
temple, which was built by Queen Hatshepsu, had been 
entirely cleared of debris, and the colonnades had been 
partially restored (under the care of Mr. Somers 
Clarke) in order to make a roof under which to protect 
the sculptures on the walls. The whole mass of debris, 
consisting largely of fallen talus from the cliffs above, 
which had almost hidden the temple, was removed; but 
a large tract lying to the south of the temple, which 
was also covered with similar mounds of debris, was 
not touched, but remained to await further investiga- 


tion. It was here, beneath these heaps of debris, that 
the new temple was found when work was resumed by 
the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1903. The actual tomb 
of the king has not yet been revealed, although that of 
Neb-hetep Mentuhetep, who may have been his immedi- 
ate predecessor, was discovered by Mr. Carter in 1899. 
It was known, however, and still uninjured in the reign 
of Ramses IX of the XXth Dynasty. Then, as we learn 
from the report of the inspectors sent to examine the 
royal tombs, which is preserved in the Abbott Papyrus, 
they found " the pyramid-tomb of King Neb-hapet-Ra 
which is in Tjesret (the ancient Egyptian name for Der 
el-Bahari); it was intact." We know, therefore, that 
it was intact about 1000 b. c. The description of it as 
a pyramid-tomb is interesting, for in the inscription of 
Tetu, the priest of Akh-aset, who was buried at Abydos, 
Akh-aset is said to have been a pyramid. That the 
newly discovered temple was called Akh-aset we know 
from several inscriptions found in it. And the most 
remarkable thing about this temple is that in its centre 
there was a pyramid. This must be the pyramid-tomb 
which was found intact by the inspectors, so that the 
tomb itself must be close by. But it does not seem to 
have * been beneath the pyramid, below which is only 
solid rock. It is perhaps a gallery cut in the cliffs at 
the back of the temple. 

The pyramid was then a dummy, made of rubble 
within a revetment of heavy flint nodules, which was 
faced with fine limestone. It was erected on a pyloni- 
form base with heavy cornice of the usual Egyptian 


pattern. This central pyramid was surrounded by a 
roofed hall or ambulatory of small octagonal pillars, 
the outside wall of which was decorated with coloured 
reliefs, depicting various scenes connected with the sed- 
heb or jubilee-festival of the king, processions of the 
warriors and magnates of the realm, scenes of hus- 
bandry, boat-building, and so forth, all of which were 
considered appropriate to the chapel of a royal tomb at 
that period. Outside this wall was an open colonnade 
of square pillars. The whole of this was built upon an 
artificially squared rectangular platform of natural rock, 
about fifteen feet high. To north and south of this were 
open courts. The southern is bounded by the hill; the 
northern is now bounded by the Great Temple of Hat- 
shepsu, but, before this was built, there was evidently 
a very large open court here. The face of the rock plat- 
form is masked by a wall of large rectangular blocks 
of fine white limestone, some of which measure six feet 
by three feet six inches. They are beautifully squared 
and laid in bonded courses of alternate sizes, and the 
walls generally may be said to be among the finest yet 
found in Egypt. We have already remarked that the 
architects of the Middle Kingdom appear to have been 
specially fond of fine masonry in white stone. The con- 
trast between these splendid XIth Dynasty walls, with 
their great base-stones of sandstone, and the bad rough 
masonry of the XVTIIth Dynasty temple close by, is 
striking. The XVIIIth Dynasty architects and masons 
had degenerated considerably from the standard of the 
Middle Kingdom. 



This rock platform was approached from the east 
in the centre by an inclined plane or ramp, of which 
part of the original pavement of wooden beams remains 
in situ. To right and left of this ramp are colonnades, 
each of twenty-two square pillars, all inscribed with the 


Excavated by Mr. Hall, 1904, for the Egypt Exploration Fund. 

name and titles of Mentuhetep. The walls masking the 
platform in these colonnades were sculptured with vari- 
ous scenes, chiefly representing boat processions and 
campaigns against the Aamu or nomads of the Sinaitic 
peninsula. The design of the colonnades is the same 
as that of the Great Temple, and the whole plan of 



this part, with its platform approached by a ramp 
flanked by colonnades, is so like that of the Great Tem- 
ple that we cannot but assume that the peculiar design 
of the latter, with its tiers of platforms approached by 
ramps flanked by colonnades, is not an original idea, 


Excavated by M. Naville, 1896; repaired by Mr. Howard Carter, 1904. 

but was directly copied by the XVIIlth Dynasty ar- 
chitects from the older Xlth Dynasty temple which 
they found at Der el-Bahari when they began their 

The supposed originality of Hatshepsu's temple is 
then non-existent; it was a copy of the older design, in 



fact, a magnificent piece of archaism. But Hatshepsu's 
architects copied this feature only; the actual arrange- 
ments on the platforms in the two temples are as differ- 
ent as they can possibly be. In the older we have a 
central pyramid with a colonnade round it, in the newer 


may be found an open court in front of rock-cave 

Before the Xlth Dynasty temple was set up a series 
of statues of King Mentuhetep and of a later king, 
Amenhetep I, in the form of Osiris, like those of Usert- 
sen (Senusret) I at Lisht already mentioned. One of 
these statues is in the British Museum. In the south 
court were discovered six statues of King Usertsen 



(Senusret) III, depicting him at different periods of 
his life. Four of the heads are preserved, and, as the 
expression of each differs from that of the other, it is 



About 2500 B.C. 

quite evident that some show him as a young, others 
as an old, man. The face is of the well-known hard 
and lined type which is seen also in the portraits of 
Amenemhat III, and was formerly considered to be that 



of the Hyksos. Messrs. Newberry and Garstang, as we 
have seen, consider it to be so, indirectly, as they regard 
the type as having been introduced into the Xllth Dy- 
nasty by Queen Nefret, the mother of Usertsen (Sen- 
usret) III. This queen, they think, was a Hittite prin- 
cess, and the Hittites were practically the same thing 


as the Hyksos. We have seen, however, that there is 
very little foundation for this view, and it is more than 
probable that this peculiar physiognomy is of a type 
purely Egyptian in character. 

On the platform, around the central pyramid, were 
buried in small chamber-tombs a number of priestesses 
of the goddess Hathor, the mistress of the desert and 
special deity of Der el-Bahari. They were all members 


of the king's harim, and they bore the title of " King's 
Favourite." As told in a previous chapter, all were 
buried at one time, before the final completion of the 
temple, and it is by no means impossible that they were 
strangled at the king's death and buried round him in 
order that their ghosts might accompany him in the next 
world, just as the slaves were buried around the graves 
(or secondary graves) of the 1st Dynasty kings at Aby- 
dos. They themselves, as also already related, took with 
them to the next world little waxen figures which when 
called upon could by magic be turned into ghostly 
slaves. These images were ushabtiu, " answerers," the 
predecessors of the little figures of wood, stone, and 
pottery which are found buried with the dead in later 
times. The priestesses themselves were, so to speak, 
human ushabtia, for royal use only, and accompanied 
the kings to their final resting-place. 

With the priestesses was buried the usual funerary 
furniture characteristic of the period. This consisted 
of little models of granaries with the peasants bringing 
in the corn, models of bakers and brewers at work, boats 
with their crews, etc., just as we find them in the Xlth 
and Xllth Dynasty tombs at el-Bersha and Beni Hasan. 
These models, too, were supposed to be transformed 
by magic into actual workmen who would work for the 
deceased, heap up grain for her, brew beer for her, ferry 
her over the ghostly Nile into the tomb-world, or per- 
form any other services required. 

Some' of the stone sarcophagi of the priestesses are 
very elaborately decorated with carved and painted 



reliefs depicting each deceased receiving offerings from 
priests, one of whom milks the holy cows of Hathor to 
give her milk. The sarcophagi were let down into the 
tomb in pieces and there joined together, and they have 
been removed in the same way. The finest is a unique 


example of Xlth Dynasty art, and it is now preserved 
in the Museum of Cairo. 

In memory of the priestesses there were erected on 
the platform behind the pyramid a number of small 
shrines, which were decorated with the most delicately 
coloured carvings in high relief, representing chiefly 
the same subjects as those on the sarcophagi. The 



peculiar style of these reliefs was previously unknown. 
In connection with them a most interesting possibility 
presents itself. We know the name of the chief artist 
of Mentuhetep's reign. He was called Mertisen, and he 
thus describes himself on his tombstone from Abydos, 
now in the Louvre: " I was an artist skilled in my art. 


I knew my art, how to represent the forms of going 
forth and returning, so that each limb may be in its 
proper place. I knew how the figure of a man should 
walk and the carriage of a woman, the poising of the 
arm to bring the hippopotamus low, the going of the 
runner. I knew how to make amulets, which enable 


us to go without fire burning us and without the flood 
washing us away. No man could do this but I, and the 
eldest son of my body. Him has the god decreed to 
excel in art, and I have seen the perfections of the work 
of his hands in every kind of rare stone, in gold and 
silver, in ivory and ebony." Now since Mertisen and 
his son were the chief artists of their day, it is more 
than probable that they were employed to decorate their 
king's funerary chapel. So that in all probability the 
Xlth Dynasty reliefs from Der el-Bahari are the work 
of Mertisen and his son, and in them we see the actual 
" forms of going forth and returning, the poising of the 
arm to bring the hippopotamus low, the going of the 
runner," to which he refers on his tombstone. This adds 
a note of personal interest to the reliefs, an interest 
which is often sadly wanting in Egypt, where we rarely 
know the names of the great artists w r hose works we 
admire so much. We have recovered the names of the 
sculptor and painter of Seti Fs temple at Abydos and 
that of the sculptor of some of the tombs at Tell el- 
Amarna, but otherwise very few names of the artists 
are directly associated with the temples and tombs 
which they decorated, and of the architects we know 
little more. The great temple of Der el-Bahari was, 
however, we know, designed by Senmut, the chief archi- 
tect to Queen Hatshepsu. 

It is noticeable that Mertisen 's art, if it is Mertisen 's, 
is of a peculiar character. It is not quite so fully devel- 
oped as that of the succeeding Xllth Dynasty. The 
drawing of the figures is often peculiar, strange lanky 


forms taking the place of the perfect proportions of the 
IVth-VIth and the Xllth Dynasty styles. Great elab- 
oration is bestowed upon decoration, which is again of 
a type rather archaic in character when compared with 
that of the Xllth Dynasty. We are often reminded of 
the rude sculptures which used to be regarded as typical 
of the art of the Xlth Dynasty, while at the same time 
we find work which could not be surpassed by the best 
XHth Dynasty masters. In fact, the art of Neb-hapet- 
Ra's reign was the art of a transitional period. Under 
the decadent Memphites of the VTIth and Vlllth Dy- 
nasties, Egyptian art rapidly fell from the high estate 
which it had attained under the Vth Dynasty, and, 
though good work was done under the Hierakonpolites, 
the chief characteristic of Egyptian art at the time of 
the Xth and early Xlth Dynasties is its curious rough- 
ness and almost barbaric appearance. When, however, 
the kings of the Xlth Dynasty reunited the whole land 
under one sceptre, and the long reign of Neb-hapet-Ra 
Mentuhetep enabled the reconsolidation of the realm to 
be carried out by one hand, art began to revive, and, 
just as to Neb-hapet-Ra must be attributed the renas- 
cence of the Egyptian state under the hegemony of 
Thebes, so must the revival of art in his reign be attrib- 
uted to his great artists, Mertisen and his son. They 
carried out in the realm of art what their king had 
carried out in the political realm, and to them must be 
attributed the origin of the art of the Middle Kingdom 
which under the Xllth Dynasty attained so high a pitch 
of excellence. The sculptures of the king's temple at 


Der el-Bahari, then, are monuments of the renascence of 
Egyptian art, after the state of decadence into which 
it had fallen during the long civil wars between South 
and North; it is a reviving art, struggling out of bar- 
barism to regain perfection, and therefore has much 
about it that seems archaic, stiff, and curious when com- 
pared with later work. To the XVTIIth Dynasty Egyp- 
tian it would no doubt have seemed hopelessly old-fash- 
ioned and even semi-barbarous, and he had no qualms 
about sweeping it aside whenever it appeared in the 
way of the work of his own time; but to us this very 
strangeness gives additional charm and interest, and we 
can only be thankful that Mertisen's work has lasted 
(in fragments only, it is true) to our own day, to tell 
us the story of a little known chapter in the history of 
ancient Egyptian art. 

From this description it will have been seen that 
the temple is an important monument of the Egyptian 
art and architecture of the Middle Kingdom. It is the 
only temple of that period of w T hich considerable traces 
have been found, and on th^t account the study of it will 
be of the greatest interest. It is the best preserved of 
the older temples of Egypt, and at Thebes it is by far 
the most ancient building recovered. Historically it has 
given us a new king of the Xlth Dynasty, Sekhahe- 
tep-Ra Mentuhetep, and the name of the queen of Neb- 
hapet-Ra Mentuhetep, Aasheit, who seems to have been 
an Ethiopian, to judge from her portrait, which has been 
discovered. It is interesting to note that one of the 
priestesses was a negress. 


The name Neb-hapet-Ra may be unfamiliar to those 
readers who are acquainted with the lists of the Egyp- 
tian kings. It is a correction of the former reading, 
" Neb-kheru-Ra, ' ' which is now known from these exca- 
vations to be erroneous. Neb-hapet-Ra (or, as he used 
to be called, Neb-kheru-Ra) is Mentuhetep III of Prof. 
Petrie's arrangement. Before him there seem to have 
come the kings Mentuhetep Neb-hetep (who is also com- 
memorated in this temple) and Neb-taui-Ra; after him, 
Sekhahetep-Ra Mentuhetep IV and Seankhkara Mentu- 
hetep V, who were followed by an Antef, bearing the 
banner or hawk-name Uah-ankh. This king was fol- 
lowed by Amenemhat I, the first king of the Xllth 
Dynasty. Antef Uah-ankh may be numbered Antef I, 
as the prince Antefa, who founded the Xlth Dynasty, 
did not assume the title of king. 

Other kings of the name of Antef also ruled over 
Egypt, and they used to be regarded as belonging to 
the Xlth Dynasty; but Prof. Steindorff has now proved 
that they really reigned after the Xlllth Dynasty, and 
immediately before the Sekenenras, who were the fight- 
ers of the Hyksos and predecessors of the XVTIIth 
Dynasty. The second names of Antef III (Seshes-Ra- 
up-maat) and Antef IV (Seshes-Ra-her-her-maat) are 
exactly similar to those of the Xlllth Dynasty kings and 
quite unlike those of the Mentuheteps; also at Koptos 
a decree of Antef II (Nub-kheper-Ra) has been found 
inscribed on a doorway of Usertsen (Senusret) I; so 
that he cannot have preceded him. Prof. Petrie does 
not yet accept these conclusions, and classes all the 


Antefs together with the Mentuheteps in the Xlth Dy- 
nasty. He considers that he has evidence from Herakle- 
opolis that Antef Nub-kheper-Ra (whom he numbers 
Antef V) preceded the XHth Dynasty, and he supposes 
that the decree of Nub-kheper-Ra at Koptos is a later 
copy of the original and was inscribed during the Xllth 
Dynasty. But this is a difficult saying. The probabil- 
ities are that Prof. Steindorff is right. Antef Uah-ankh 
must, however, have preceded the Xllth Dynasty, since 
an official of that period refers to his father's father as 
having lived in Uah-ankh 's time. 

The necropolis of Der el-Bahari was no doubt used 
all through the period of the Xlth and Xllth Dynasties, 
and many tombs of that period have been found there. 
A large number of these were obliterated by the build- 
ing of the great temple of Queen Hatshepsu, in the 
northern part of the cliff-bay. We know of one queen's 
tomb of that period which runs right underneath this 
temple from the north, and there is another that is 
entered at the south side which also runs down under- 
neath it. Several tombs were likewise found in the court 


between it and the Xlth Dynasty temple. We know 
that the XVIIIth Dynasty temple was largely built over 
this court, and we can see now r the Xlth Dynasty mask- 
wall on the west of the court running northwards under- 
neath the mass of the XVIIIth Dynasty temple. In all 
probability, then, when the temple of Hatshepsu was 
built, the larger portion of the Middle Kingdom necrop- 
olis (of chamber-tombs reached by pits), which had filled 
up the bay to the north of the Mentuhetep temple, was 


covered up and obliterated, just as the older Vlth Dy- 
nasty gallery tombs of Shekh Abd el-Kurna had been 
appropriated and altered at the same period. 

The kings of the Xllth and Xlllth Dynasties were 
not buried at Thebes, as we have seen, but in the North, 
at Dashur, Lisht, and near the Fayyum, with which their 
royal city at Itht-taui had brought them into contact. 
But at the end of the Xlllth Dynasty the great inva- 
sion of the Hyksos probably occurred, and all Northern 
Egypt fell under the Arab sway. The native kings 
were driven south from the Fayyum to Abydos, Koptos, 
and Thebes, and at Thebes they were buried, in a 
new necropolis to the north of Der el-Bahari (prob- 
ably then full), on the flank of a long spur of hill 
which is now called Dra' Abu-'l-Negga, " Abu-'l-Neg- 
ga's Arm." Here the Theban kings of the period be- 
tween the Xlllth and XVIIth Dynasties, Upuantemsaf , 
Antef Nub-kheper-Ra, and his descendants, Antefs III 
and IV, were buried. In their time the pressure of 
foreign invasion seems to have been felt, for, to judge 
from their coffins, which show progressive degeneration 
of style and workmanship, poverty now afflicted Upper 
Egypt and art had fallen sadly from the high standard 
which it had reached in the days of the Xlth and Xllth 
Dynasties. Probably the later Antefs and Sebekemsafs 
were vassals of the Hyksos. Their descendants of the 
XVIIth Dynasty were buried in the same necropolis 
of Dra' Abu-'l-Negga, and so were the first two kings 
of the XVIIIth Dynasty, Aahmes and Amenhetep I. 
The tombs of the last two have not yet been found, but 


we know from the Abbott Papyrus that Amenhetep's 
was here, for, like that of Mentuhetep III, it was found 
intact by the inspectors. It was a gallery-tomb of very 
great length, and will be a most interesting find when 
it is discovered, as it no doubt eventually will be. 
Aahmes had a tomb at Abydos, which w T as discovered 
by Mr. Currelly, working for the Egypt Exploration 
Fund. This, however, like the Abydene tomb of Usert- 
sen (Senusret) III, was in all likelihood a sham or 
secondary tomb, the king having most probably been 
buried at Thebes, in the Dra' Abu-'l-Negga. The Aby- 
dos tomb is of interesting construction. The entrance 
is by a simple pit, from which a gallery runs round in 
a curving direction to a great hall supported by eighteen 
square pillars, beyond which is a further gallery which 
was never finished. Nothing was found in the tomb. 
On the slope of the mountain, due west of and in a line 
with the tomb, Mr. Currelly found a terrace-temple anal- 
ogous to those of Der el-Bahari, approached not by 
means of a ramp but by stairways at the side. It was 
evidently the funerary temple of the tomb. 

The secondary tomb of Usertsen (Senusret) III at 
Abydos, which has already been mentioned, was discov- 
ered in the preceding year by Mr. A. E. P. Weigall, 
and excavated by Mr. Currelly in 1903. It lies north of 
the Aahmes temple, between it and the main cemetery 
of Abydos. It is a great bob or gallery-tomb, like those 
of the later kings at Thebes, with the usual apparatus 
of granite plugs, barriers, pits, etc., to defy plunderers. 
The tomb had been plundered, nevertheless, though it 


Statue of Queen Teta-shera 

Grandmother of Aahmes, the conqueror of the Hyksos and 
founder of the XVIIIth Dynasty. About 1700 B. C. British 
Museum. From the photograph bv Messrs. Mansell & Co. 




is probable that the robbers were vastly disappointed 
with what they found in it. Mr. Currelly ascribes the 
absence of all remains to the plunderers, but the fact 
is that there probably never was anything in it but an 
empty sarcophagus. Near the tomb Mr. Weigall dis- 
covered some dummy mastabas, a find of great interest. 
Just as the king had a secondary tomb, so secondary 
mastabas, mere dummies of rubble like the Xlth Dy- 
nasty pyramid at Der el-Bahari, were erected beside it 
to look like the tombs of his courtiers. Some curious 
sinuous brick walls which appear to act as dividing lines 
form a remarkable feature of this sham cemetery. In 
a line with the tomb, on the edge of the cultivation, is 
the funerary temple belonging to it, which was found 
by Mr. Randall-Maclver in 1900. Nothing remains but 
the bases of the fluted limestone columns and some brick 
walls. A headless statue of Usertsen was found. 

We have an interesting example of the custom of 
building a secondary tomb for royalties in these two 
necropoles of Dra' Abu-'l-Negga and Abydos. Queen 
Teta-shera, the grandmother of Aahmes, a beautiful 
statuette of whom may be seen in the British Mu- 
seum, had a small pyramid at Abydos, eastward of 
and in a line with the temple and secondary tomb of 
Aahmes. In 1901 Mr. Mace attempted to find the cham- 
ber, but could not. In the next year Mr. Currelly found 
between it and the Aahmes tomb a small chapel, contain- 
ing a splendid stele, on which Aahmes commemorates 
his grandmother, who, he says, was buried at Thebes 
and had a mer-aliat at Abvdos, and he records his deter- 


mination to build her also a pyramid at Abydos, out 
of his love and veneration for her memory. It thus 
appeared that the pyramid to the east was simply a 
dummy, like Usertsen's mastabas, or the Mentuhetep 
pyramid at Der el-Bahari. Teta-shera was actually 
buried at Dra' Abu-'l-Negga. Her secondary pyramid, 
like that of Aahmes himself, was in the " holy ground " 
at Abydos, though it was not an imitation bdb, but a 
dummy pyramid of rubble. This well illustrates the 
whole custom of the royal primary and secondary tombs, 
which, as we have seen, had obtained in the case of royal 
personages from the time of the 1st Dynasty, when Aha 
had two tombs, one at Nakada and the other at Abydos. 
It is probable that all the 1st Dynasty tombs at Abydos 
are secondary, the kings being really buried elsewhere. 
After their time we know for certain that Tjeser and 
Snefru had duplicate tombs, possibly also Unas, and cer- 
tainly Usertsen (Senusret) III, Amenemhat III, and 
Aahmes; while Mentuhetep III and Queen Teta-shera 
had dummy pyramids as well as their tombs. Ramses 
III also had two tombs, both at Thebes. The reasons 
for this custom were two : first, the desire to elude plun- 
derers, and second, the wish to give the ghost a pied-a- 
terre on the sacred soil of Abydos or Sakkara. 

As the inscription of Aahmes which records the 
building of the dummy pyramid of Teta-shera is of 
considerable interest, it may here be translated. The 
text reads: " It came to pass that when his Majesty 
the king, even the king of South and North, Neb- 
pehti-Ra, Son of the Sun, Aahmes, Giver of Life, was 


taking his pleasure in the tjadu-hall, the hereditary 
princess greatly favoured and greatly prized, the king's 
daughter, the king's sister, the god's wife and great wife 
of the king, Nefret-ari-Aahmes, the living, was in the 
presence of his Majesty. And the one spake unto the 
other, seeking to do honour to Those There, 1 which con- 
sisteth in the pouring of water, the offering upon the 
altar, the painting of the stele at the beginning of each 
season, at the Festival of the New Moon, at the feast 
of the month, the feast of the going-forth of the ^em- 
priest, the Ceremonies of the Night, the Feasts of the 
Fifth Day of the Month and of the Sixth, the Hak- 
festival, the Z7a#-festival, the feast of Thoth, the begin- 
ning of every season of heaven and earth. And his 
sister spake, answering him: ' Why hath one remem- 
bered these matters, and wherefore hath this word been 
said? Prithee, what hath come into thy heart? ' The 
king spake, saying : i As for me, I have remembered the 
mother of my mother, the mother of my father, the 
king's great wife and king's mother Teta-shera, de- 
ceased, whose tomb-chamber and mer-ahdt are at this 
moment upon the soil of Thebes and Abydos. I have 
spoken thus unto thee because my Majesty desireth to 
cause a pyramid and chapel to be made for her in the 
Sacred Land, as a gift of a monument from my Majesty, 
and that its lake should be dug, its trees planted, and 
its offerings prescribed; that it should be provided with 
slaves, furnished with lands, and endowed with cattle, 
with Jien-ka priests and Jcher-heb priests performing 

1 A polite periphrasis for the dead. 


their duties, each man knowing what he hath to do.' 
Behold! when his Majesty had thus spoken, these things 
were immediately carried out. His Majesty did these 
things on account of the greatness of the love which 
he bore her, which was greater than anything. Never 
had ancestral kings done the like for their mothers. 
Behold! his Majesty extended his arm and bent his 
hand, and made for her the king's offering to Geb, to 
the Ennead of Gods, to the lesser Ennead of Gods . . . 
[to Anubis] in the God's Shrine, thousands of offerings 
of bread, beer, oxen, geese, cattle ... to [the Queen 
Teta-shera]." This is one of the most interesting in- 
scriptions discovered in Egypt in recent years, for the 
picturesqueness of its diction is unusual. 

As has already been said, the king Amenhetep I was 
also buried in the Dra' Abu-'l-Negga, but the tomb has 
not yet been found. Amenhetep I and his mother, Queen 
Nefret-ari-Aahmes, who is mentioned in the inscription 
translated above, were both venerated as tutelary 
demons of the Western Necropolis of Thebes after their 
deaths, as also was Mentuhetep III. At Der el-Bahari 
both kings seem to have been worshipped with Hathor, 
the Mistress of the Waste. The worship of Amen-Ra 
in the XYTIIth Dynasty temple of Der el-Bahari was 
a novelty introduced by the priests of Amen at that 
time. But the worship of Hathor went on side by side 
with that of Amen in a chapel with a rock-cut shrine 
at the side of the Great Temple. Very possibly this 
w T as the original cave-shrine of Hathor, long before Men- 
tuhetep 's time, and was incorporated with the Great 


Temple and beautified with the addition of a pillared 
hall before it, built over part of the Xlth Dynasty north 
court and wall, by Hatshepsu's architects. 

The Great Temple, the excavation of which for the 
Egypt Exploration Fund was successfully brought to 
an end by Prof. Naville in 1898, was erected by 
Queen Hatshepsu in honour of Amen-Ra, her father 
Thothmes I, and her brother-husband Thothmes II, and 
received a few additions from Thothmes III, her suc- 
cessor. He, however, did not complete it, and it fell 
into disrepair, besides suffering from the iconoclastic 
zeal of the heretic Akhunaten, who hammered out some 
of the beautifully painted scenes upon its walls. These 
were badly restored by Ramses II, whose painting is 
easily distinguished from the original work by the dul- 
ness and badness of its colour. 

The peculiar plan and other remarkable character- 
istics of this temple are well known. Its great terraces, 
with the ramps leading up to them, flanked by colon- 
nades, which, as we have seen, were imitated from the 
design of the old Xlth Dynasty temple at its side, are 
familiar from a hundred illustrations, and the marvel- 
lously preserved colouring of its delicate reliefs is known 
to every winter visitor to Egypt, and can be realized 
by those who have never been there through the medium 
of Mr. Howard Carter's wonderful coloured reproduc- 
tions, published in Prof. Naville's edition of the temple 
by the Egypt Exploration Fund. The Great Temple 
stands to-day clear of all the debris which used to cover 
it, a lasting monument to the work of the greatest of 



the societies which busy themselves with the unearthing 
of the relics of the ancient world. The two temples of 
Der el-Bahari will soon stand side by side, as they orig- 
inally stood, and will ahvays be associated with the name 

Excavated by Prof. Naville, 1893 - 8 and 1903 - 6, for the Egypt Exploration Fund. 

of the society which rescued them from oblivion, and 
gave us the treasures of the royal tombs at Abydos. 
The names of the two men whom the Egypt Exploration 
Fund commissioned to excavate Der el-Bahari and Aby- 
dos, and for whose work it exclusively supplied the 


funds, Profs. Naville and Petrie, will live chiefly in con- 
nection with their work at Der el-Bahari and Abydos. 

The Egyptians called the two temples Tjeserti, " the 
two holy places,' ' the new building receiving the name 
of Tjeser-tjesru, " Holy of Holies," and the whole tract 
of Der el-Bahari the appellation Tjesret, " the Holy." 
The extraordinary beauty of the situation in which they 
are placed, with its huge cliffs and rugged hillsides, may 
be appreciated from the photograph which is taken from 
a steep path half-way up the cliff above the Great Tem- 
ple. In it we see the Great Temple in the foreground 
with the modern roofs of two of its colonnades, devised 
in order to protect the sculptures beneath them, the 
great trilithon gate leading to the upper court, and the 
entrance to the cave-shrine of Amen-Ka, with the niches 
of the kings on either side, immediately at the foot of 
the cliff. In the middle distance is the duller form of 
the Xlth Dynasty temple, with its rectangular platform, 
the ramp leading up to it, and the pyramid in the centre 
of it, surrounded by pillars, half-emerging from the 
great heaps of sand and debris all around. The back- 
ground of cliffs and hills, as seen in the photograph, 
will serve to give some idea of the beauty of the sur- 
roundings,— an arid beauty, it is true, for all is desert. 
There is not a blade of vegetation near; all is salmon- 
red in colour beneath a sky of ineffable blue, and against 
the red cliffs the white temple stands out in vivid 

The second illustration gives a nearer view of the 
great trilithon gate in the upper court, at the head of 



the ramp. The long hill of Dra' Abu-'l-Negga is seen 
bending away northward behind the gate. This is 
the famous gate on which the jealous Thothmes III 



About 1500 B.C. 

chiselled out Hatshepsu's name in the royal cartouches 
and inserted his own in its place; but he forgot to 
alter the gender of the pronouns in the accompanying 


inscription, which therefore reads " King Thothmes III, 
she made this monument to her father Amen." 

Among Prof. Naville's discoveries here one of the 
most important is that of the altar in a small court to 
the north, which, as the inscription says, was made in 
honour of the god Ra-Harmachis " of beautiful white 
stone of Anu." It is of the finest white limestone 
known. Here also were found the carved ebony doors 
of a shrine, now in the Cairo Museum. One of the most 
beautiful parts of the temple is the Shrine of Anubis, 
with its splendidly preserved paintings and perfect col- 
umns and roof of white limestone. The effect of the 
pure white stone and simplicity of architecture is almost 

The Shrine of Hathor has been known since the time 
of Mariette, but in connection with it some interesting 
discoveries have been made during the excavation of 
the Xlth Dynasty temple. In the court between the 
two temples were found a large number of small votive 
offerings, consisting of scarabs, beads, little figures of 
cows and women, etc., of blue glazed faience and rough 
pottery, bronze and wood, and blue glazed ware ears, 
eyes, and plaques with figures of the sacred cow, and 
other small objects of the same nature. These are evi- 
dently the ex-votos of the XVIIIth Dynasty fellahin to 
the goddess Hathor in the rock-shrine above the court. 
When the shrine was full or the little ex-votos broken, 
the sacristans threw them over the wall into the court 
below, which thus became a kind of dust-heap. Over 
this heap the sand and debris gradually collected, and 


thus they were preserved. The objects found are of 
considerable interest to anthropological science. 

The Great Temple was built, as we have said, in 
honour of Thothmes I and II, and the deities Amen-Ra 
and Hathor. More especially it was the funerary chapel 
of Thothmes I. His tomb was excavated, not in the 
Dra' Abu-'l-Negga, which was doubtless now too near 
the capital city and not in a sufficiently dignified posi- 
tion of aloofness from the common herd, but at the end 
of the long valley of the Wadiyen, behind the cliff-hill 
above Der el-Bahari. Hence the new temple was ori- 
ented in the direction of his tomb. Immediately behind 
the temple, on the other side of the hill, is the tomb 
which was discovered by Lepsius and cleared in 1904 for 
Mr. Theodore N. Davis by Mr. Howard Carter, then 
chief inspector of antiquities at Thebes. Its gallery is 
of very small dimensions, and it winds about in the hill 
in corkscrew fashion like the tomb of Aahmes at Aby- 
dos. Owing to its extraordinary length, the heat and 
foul air in the depths of the tomb were almost insup- 
portable and caused great difficulty to the excavators. 
When the sarcophagus-chamber was at length reached, 
it was found to contain the empty sarcophagi of 
Thothmes I and of Hatshepsu. The bodies had been 
removed for safe-keeping in the time of the XXIst Dy- 
nasty, that of Thothmes I having been found with those 
of Seti I and Ramses II in the famous pit at Der el- 
Bahari, which was discovered by M. Maspero in 1881. 
Thothmes I seems to have had another and more elab- 
orate tomb (No. 38) in the Valley of the Tombs of the 


Kings, which was discovered by M. Loret in 1898. Its 
frescoes had been destroyed by the infiltration of 

The fashion of royal burial in the great valley behind 
Der el-Bahari was followed during the XVIIIth, XlXth, 
and XXth Dynasties. Here in the eastern branch of 
the Wadiyen, now called the Biban el-Muluk, " the 
Tombs of the Kings,' ' the greater number of the might- 
iest Theban Pharaohs were buried. In the western val- 
ley rested two of the kings of the XVIIIth Dynasty, 
who desired even more remote burial-places, Amenhe- 
tep III and Ai. The former chose for his last home 
a most kingly site. Ancient kings had raised great 
pyramids of artificial stone over their graves. Amen- 
hetep, perhaps the greatest and most powerful Pharaoh 
of them all, chose to have a natural pyramid for his 
grave, a mountain for his tumulus. The illustration 
shows us the tomb of this monarch, opening out of the 
side of one of the most imposing hills in the Western 
Valley. No other king but Amenhetep rested beneath 
this hill, which thus marks his grave and his only. 

It is in the Eastern Valley, the Valley of the Tombs 
of the Kings properly speaking, that the tombs of 
Thothmes I and Hatshepsu lie, and here the most recent 
discoveries have been made. It is a desolate spot. As 
we come over the hill from Der el-Bahari we see below 
us in the glaring sunshine a rocky canon, with sides 
sometimes sheer cliff, sometimes sloped by great falls 
of rock in past ages. At the bottom of these slopes 
the square openings of the many royal tombs can be 



descried. 1 Far below we see the forms of tourists and 
the tomb-guards accompanying them, moving in and out 
of the openings like ants going in and out of an ants' 
nest. Nothing is heard but the occasional cry of a kite 
and the ceaseless rhythmical throbbing of the exhaust- 


pipe of the electric light engine in the unfinished 
tomb of Ramses XI. Above and around are the red 
desert hills. The Egyptians called it " The Place of 
Eternity. ' ' 

In this valley some remarkable discoveries have been 
made during the last few years. In 1898 M. Grebaut 

1 See illustration. 


discovered the tomb of Amenhetep II, in which was 
found the mummy of the king, intact, lying in its sar- 
cophagus in the depths of the tomb. The royal body 
now lies there for all to see. The tomb is lighted with 
electricity, as are all the principal tombs of the kings. 
At the head of the sarcophagus is a single lamp, and, 
when the party of visitors is collected in silence around 
the place of death, all the lights are turned out, and 
then the single light is switched on, showing the royal 
head illuminated against the surrounding blackness. 
The effect is indescribably weird and impressive. The. 
body has only twice been removed from the tomb since 
its burial, the second time when it was for a brief space 
taken up into the sunlight to be photographed by Mr. 
Carter, in January, 1902. The temporary removal was 
carefully carried out, the body of his Majesty being 
borne up through the passages of the tomb on the 
shoulders of the Italian electric light workmen, pre- 
ceded and followed by impassive Arab candle-bearers. 
The workmen were most reverent in their handling of 
the body of " il gran re" as they called him. 

In the tomb were found some very interesting ob- 
jects, including a model boat (afterwards stolen), across 
which lay the body of a woman. This body now lies, 
with others found close by, in a side chamber of the 
tomb. One may be that of Hatshepsu. The walls of 
the tomb-chamber are painted to resemble papyrus, and 
on them are written chapters of the '" Book of What 
Is in the Underworld/ ' for the guidance of the royal 


In 1902 - 3 Mr. Theodore Davis excavated the tomb 
of Thothmes IV. It yielded a rich harvest of antiquities 
belonging to the funeral state of the king, including a 
chariot with sides of embossed and gilded leather, dec- 
orated with representations of the king's warlike deeds, 
and much fine blue pottery, all of which are now in the 
Cairo Museum. The tomb-gallery returns upon itself, 
describing a curve. An interesting point with regard 
to it is that it had evidently been violated even in the 
short time between the reigns of its owner and Horem- 
heb, probably in the period of anarchy which prevailed 
at Thebes during the reign of the heretic Akhunaten; 
for in one of the chambers is a hieratic inscription 
recording the repair of the tomb in the eighth year of 
Horemheb by Maya, superintendent of works in the 
Tombs of the Kings. It reads as follows: " In the 
eighth year, the third month of summer, under the 
Majesty of King Tjeser-khepru-Ra Sotp-n-Ra, Son of 
the Sun, Horemheb Meriamen, his Majesty (Life, health, 
and wealth unto him!) commanded that orders should be 
sent unto the Fanbearer or|. the King's Left Hand, the 
King's Scribe and Overseer of the Treasury, the Over- 
seer of the Works in the Place of Eternity, the Leader 
of the Festivals of Amen in Karnak, Maya, son of the 
judge Aui, born of the Lady Ueret, that he should 
renew the burial of King Men-khepru-Ra, deceased, in 
the August Habitation in Western Thebes." Men- 
khepru-Ra was the prenomen or throne-name of 
Thothmes IV. Tied round a pillar in the tomb is still 
a length of the actual rope used by the thieves for 


crossing the chasm, which, as in many of the tombs 
here, was left open in the gallery to bar the way to 
plunderers. The mummy of the king was found in the 
tomb of Amenhetep II, and is now at Cairo. 

The discovery of the tomb of Thothmes I and Hat- 
shepsu has already been described. In 1905 Mr. Davis 
made his latest find, the tomb of Iuaa and Tuaa, the 
father and mother of Queen Tii, the famous consort of 
Amenhetep III and mother of Akhunaten the heretic. 
Readers of Prof. Maspero's history will remember that 
Iuaa and Tuaa are mentioned on one of the large 
memorial scarabs of Amenhetep III, which commem- 
orates his marriage. The tomb has yielded an almost 
incredible treasure of funerary furniture, besides the 
actual mummies of Tii's parents, including a chariot 
overlaid with gold. Gold overlay of great thickness is 
found on everything, boxes, chairs, etc. It was no won- 
der that Egypt seemed the land of gold to the Asiatics, 
and that even the King of Babylon begs this very Pha- 
raoh Amenhetep to send him gold, in one of the letters 
found at Tell el-Amarna, " for gold is as water in thy 
land." It is probable that Egypt really attained the 
height of her material wealth and prosperity in the 
reign of Amenhetep III. Certainly her dominion reached 
its farthest limits in his time, and his influence was 
felt from the Tigris to the Sudan. He hunted lions 
for his pleasure in Northern Mesopotamia, and he built 
temples at Jebel Barkal beyond Dongola. We see the 
evidence of lavish wealth in the furniture of the tomb 
of Iuaa and Tuaa. Yet, fine as are many of these 


gold-overlaid and overladen objects of the XVIIIth 
Dynasty, they have neither the good taste nor the charm 
of the beautiful jewels from the Xllth Dynasty tombs 
at Dashur. It is mere vulgar wealth. There is too 
much gold thrown about. " For gold is as water in 
thy land." In three hundred years' time Egypt was 
to know what poverty meant, when the poor priest- 
kings of the XXIst Dynasty could hardly keep body 
and soul together and make a comparatively decent 
show as Pharaohs of Egypt. Then no doubt the latter- 
day Thebans sighed for the good old times of the 
XVIIIth Dynasty, when their city ruled a considerable 
part of Africa and Western Asia and garnered their 
riches into her coffers. But the days of the Xllth 
Dynasty had really been better still. Then there was 
not so much wealth, but what there was (and there was 
as much gold then, too) was used sparingly, tastefully, 
and simply. The Xllth Dynasty, not the XVIIIth, was 
the real Golden Age of Egypt. 

From the funeral panoply of a tomb like that of 
Iuaa and Tuaa we can obtain some idea of the pomp 
and state of Amenhetep ill. But the remains of his 
Theban palace, which have been discovered and exca- 
vated by Mr. C. Tytus and Mr. P. E. Newberry, do not 
bear out this idea of magnificence. It is quite possible 
that the palace was merely a pleasure house, erected 
very hastily and destined to fall to pieces when its owner 
tired of it or died, like the many palaces of the late 
Khedive Ismail. It stood on the border of an artificial 
lake, whereon the Pharaoh and his consort Tii sailed 


to take their pleasure in golden barks. This is now 
the cultivated rectangular space of land known as the 
Birket Habu, which is still surrounded by the remains 
of the embankment built to retain its waters, and be- 
comes a lake during the inundation. On the western 
shore of this lake Amenhetep erected the " stately 
pleasure dome," the remains of which still cover the 
sandy tract known as el-Malkata, " the Salt-pans/' 
south of the great temple of Medinet Habu. These 
remains consist merely of the foundations and lowest 
wall-courses of a complicated and rambling building of 
many chambers, constructed of common unburnt brick 
and plastered with white stucco on walls and floors, on 
which were painted beautiful frescoes of fighting bulls, 
birds of the air, water-fowl, fish-ponds, etc., in much 
the same style as the frescoes of Tell el-Amarna exe- 
cuted in the next reign. There were small pillared halls, 
the columns of which were of wood, mounted on bases 
of white limestone. The majority still remain in posi- 
tion. In several chambers there are small daises, and 
in one the remains of a throne, built of brick and mud 
covered with plaster and stucco, upon which the Pha- 
raoh Amenhetep sat. This is the palace of him whom 
the Greeks called Memnon, who ruled Egypt when Israel 
was in bondage and when the dynasty of Minos reigned 
in Crete. Here by the side of his pleasure-lake the 
most powerful of Egyptian Pharaohs whiled away his 
time during the summer heats. Evidently the building 
was intended to be of the lightest construction, and 
never meant to last; but to our ideas it seems odd that 



an Egyptian Pharaoh should live in a mud palace. Such 
a building is, however, quite suited to the climate of 
Egypt, as are the modern crude brick dwellings of the 
fellahin. In the ruins of the palace were found several 
small objects of interest, and close by was an ancient 
glass manufactory of Amenhetep Ill's time, where much 


of the characteristic beautifully coloured and variegated 
opaque glass of the period was made. 

The tombs of the magnates of Amenhetep Hi's reign 
and of the reigns of his immediate predecessors were 
excavated, as has been said, on the eastern slope of the 
hill of Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna, where was the earliest 
Theban necropolis. No doubt many of the early tombs 


of the time of the Vlth Dynasty were appropriated and 
remodelled by the XVIIIth Dynasty magnates. We 
have an instance of time's revenge in this matter, in 
the case of the tomb of Imadua, a great priestly official 
of the time of the XXth Dynasty. This tomb previously 
belonged to an XVIIIth Dynasty worthy, but Imadua 
appropriated it three hundred years later and covered 
up all its frescoes with the much begilt decoration fash- 
ionable in his period. Perhaps the XVIIIth Dynasty 
owner had stolen it from an original owner of the time 
of the Vlth Dynasty. The tomb has lately been cleared 
out by Mr. Newberry. 

Much work of the same kind has been done here of 
late years by Messrs. Newberry and R. L. Mond, in 
succession. To both we are indebted for the excavation 
of many known tombs, as well as for the discovery of 
many others previously unknown. Among the former 
was that of Sebekhetep, cleared by Mr. Newberry. Se- 
bekhetep was an official of the time of Thothmes III. 
From his tomb, and from others in the same hill, came 
many years ago the fine frescoes shown in the illustra- 
tion, which are among the most valued treasures of the 
Egyptian department of the British Museum. They are 
typical specimens of the wall-decoration of an XVIIIth 
Dynasty tomb. On one may be seen a bald-headed peas- 
ant, with staff in hand, pulling an ear of corn from 
the standing crop in order to see if it is ripe. He is the 
" Chief Reaper," and above him is a prayer that the 
" great god in heaven " may increase the crop. To the 
right of him is a charioteer standing beside a car and 


reining back a pair of horses, one black, the other bay. 
Below is another charioteer with two white horses. He 
sits on the floor of the car with his back to them, eating 
or resting, while they nibble the branches of a tree close 
by. Another scene is that of a scribe keeping tally of 
offerings brought to the tomb, while fellahin are bring- 
ing flocks of geese and other fowl, some in crates. The 
inscription above is apparently addressed by the goose- 
herd to the man with the crates. It reads: " Hasten 
thy feet because of the geese! Hearken! thou knowest 
not the next minute what has been said to thee! " 
Above, a rei's with a stick bids other peasants squat 
on the ground before addressing the scribe, and he is 
saying to them: " Sit ye down to talk." The third scene 
is in another style; on it may be seen Semites bringing 
offerings of vases of gold, silver, and copper to the royal 
presence, bowing themselves to the ground and kissing 
the dust before the throne. The fidelity and accuracy 
with which the racial type of the tribute-bearers is 
given is most extraordinary; every face seems a por- 
trait, and each one might be seen any day now T in the 
Jewish quarters of Whitechapel. 

The first two paintings are representative of a very 
common style of fresco-pictures in these tombs. The 
care with which the animals are depicted is remarkable. 
Possibly one of the finest Egyptian representations 
of an animal is the fresco of a goat in the tomb of 
Gen- Amen, discovered by Mr. Mond. There is even an 
attempt here at chiaroscuro, which is unknown to Egyp- 
tian art generally, except at Tell el-Amarna. Evidently 



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the Egyptian painters reached the apogee of their art 
towards the end of the XVIIIth Dynasty. The third, 
the representation of tribute-bearers, is of a type also 
well known at this period. In all the chief tombs we 
have processions of Egyptians, Westerners, Northerners, 
Easterners, and Southerners, bringing tribute to the 
Pharaoh. The North is represented by the Semites, the 
East by the Punites (when they occur), the South by 
negroes, the West by the Keftiu or people of Crete and 
Cyprus. The representations of the last-named people 
have become of the very highest interest during the last 
few years, on account of the discoveries in Crete, which 
have revealed to us the state and civilization of these 
very Keftiu. Messrs. Evans and Halbherr have discov- 
ered at Knossos and Phaistos the cities and palace- 
temples of the king who sent forth their ambassadors 
to far-away Egypt with gifts for the mighty Pharaoh; 
these ambassadors were painted in the tombs of their 
hosts as representative of the quarter of the world from 
which they came. 

The two chief Egyptian representations of these 
people, who since they lived in Greece may be called 
Greeks, though their more proper title would be " Pe- 
lasgians," are to be found in the tombs of Rekhmara 
and Senmut, the former a vizier under Thothmes III, 
the latter the architect of Hatshepsu's temple at Der 
el-Bahari. Senmut 's tomb is a new rediscovery. It was 
known, as Rekhmara 's was, in the early days of Egyp- 
tological science, and Prisse d'Avennes copied its paint- 
ings. It was afterwards lost sight of until rediscovered 



by Mr. Newberry and Prof. Steindorff. The tomb of 
Rekkmara (No. 35) is well known to every visitor to 
Thebes, but it is difficult to get at that of Senmut 




** ■ 



p ■ 


About 1500 B. c. 

(No. 110) ; it lies at the top of the hill round to the 
left and overlooking Der el-Bahari, — an appropriate 
place for it, by the way. In some w r ays Senmut 's 


representations are more interesting than Rekhmara's. 
They are more easily seen, since they are now in the 
open air, the fore hall of the tomb having been ruined; 
and they are better preserved, since they have not been 
subjected to a century of inspection with naked candles 
and pawing with greasy hands, as have Rekhmara's 
frescoes. Further, there is no possibility of mistaking 
what they represent. From right to left, walking in 
procession, we see the Minoan gift-bearers from Crete, 
carrying in their hands and on their shoulder^ great 
cups of gold and silver, in shape like the famous gold 
cups found at Vaphio in Lakonia, but much larger, also 
a ewer of gold and silver exactly like one of bronze 
discovered by Mr. Evans two years ago at Knossos, 
and a huge copper jug with four ring-handles round 
the sides. All these vases are specifically and definitely 
Mycenaean, or rather, following the new terminology, 
Minoan. They are of Greek manufacture and are car- 
ried on the shoulders of Pelasgian Greeks. The bearers 
wear the usual Mycenaean costume, high boots and a gaily 
ornamented kilt, and little else, just as we see it de- 
picted in the fresco of the Cupbearer at Knossos and 
in other Greek representations. The coiffure, possibly 
the most characteristic thing about the Mycenaean 
Greeks, is faithfully represented by the Egyptians both 
here and in Rekhmara's tomb. The Mycenaean men 
allowed their hair to grow to its full natural length, 
like women, and wore it partly hanging down the back, 
partly tied up in a knot or plait (the /ce>a? of the dandy 
Paris in the Iliad) on the crown of the head. This was 


the universal fashion, and the Keftiu are consistently 
depicted by the XVIIIth Dynasty Egyptians as follow- 
ing it. The faces in the Senmut fresco are not so well por- 
trayed as those in the Rekhmara fresco. There it is evi- 
dent that the first three' ambassadors are faithfully de- 
picted, as the portraits are marked. The procession ad- 
vances from left to right. The first man, " the Great 
Chief of the Kefti and the Isles of the Green Sea," is 
young, and has a remarkably small mouth with an amia- 
ble expression. His complexion is fair rather than dark, 
but his hair is dark brown. His lieutenant, the next in 
order, is of a different type,— elderly, with a most for- 
bidding visage, Roman nose, and nutcracker jaws. Most 
of the others are very much alike,— young, dark in com- 
plexion, and with long black hair hanging below their 
waists and twisted up into fantastic knots and curls on 
the tops of their heads. One, carrying on his shoulder a 
great silver vase with curving handles and in one hand a 
dagger of early European Bronze Age type, is looking 
back to hear some remark of his next companion. Any 
one of these gift-bearers might have sat for the portrait 
of the Knossian Cupbearer, the fresco discovered by Mr. 
Evans in the palace-temple of Minos; he has the same 
ruddy brown complexion, the same long black hair 
dressed in the same fashion, the same parti-coloured kilt, 
and he bears his vase in much the same wav. We 
have only to allow for the difference of Egyptian and 
Mycenaean ways of drawing. There is no doubt what- 
ever that these Keftiu of the Egyptians were Cretans 
of the Minoan Age. They used to be considered Phoe- 


nicians, but this view was long ago exploded. They 
are not Semites, and that is quite enough. Neither are 
they Asiatics of any kind. They are purely and simply 
Mycenaean, or rather Minoan, Greeks of the pre-Hel- 
lenic period— Pelasgi, that is to say. 

Probably no discovery of more far-reaching impor- 
tance to our knowledge of the history of the world gen- 
erally and of our own culture especially has ever been 
made than the finding of Mycenae by Schliemann, and 
the further finds that have resulted therefrom, culminat- 
ing in the discoveries of Mr. Arthur Evans at Knossos. 
Naturally, these discoveries are of extraordinary inter- 
est to us, for they have revealed the beginnings and first 
bloom of the European civilization of to-day. For our 
culture-ancestors are neither the Egyptians, nor the 
Assyrians, nor the Hebrews, but the Hellenes, and they, 
the Aryan-Greeks, derived most of their civilization 
from the pre-Hellenic people whom they found in the 
land before them, the Pelasgi or " Mycenaean " Greeks, 
" Minoans," as we now call them, the Keftiu of the 
Egyptians. These are the ancient Greeks of the Heroic 
Age, to which the legends of the Hellenes refer; in their 
day were fought the wars of Troy and of the Seven 
against Thebes, in their day the tragedy of the Atridae 
was played out to its end, in their day the wise Minos 
ruled Knossos and the iEgean. And of all the events 
which are at the back of these legends we know nothing. 
The hieroglyphed tablets of the pre-Hellenic Greeks lie 
before us, but we cannot read them; we can only see 
that the Minoan writing in many ways resembled the 


Egyptian, thus again confirming our impression of the 
original early connection of the two cultures. 1 

In view of this connection, and the known close rela- 
tions between Crete and Egypt, from the end of the 
Xllth Dynasty to the end of the XVIIIth, we might 
have hoped to recover at Knossos a bilingual inscription 
in Cretan and Egyptian hieroglyphs which would give us 
the key to the Minoan script and tell us what we so 
dearly wish to know. But this hope has not yet been 
realized. Two Egyptian inscriptions have been found 
at Knossos, but no bilingual one. A list of Keftian 
names is preserved in the British Museum upon an 
Egyptian writing-board from Thebes with what is per- 
haps a copy of a single Cretan hieroglyph, a vase; but 
again, nothing bilingual. A list of " Keftian words " 
occurs at the head of a papyrus, also in the British 
Museum, but they appear to be nonsense, a mere imita- 
tion of the sounds of a strange tongue. Still we need 
not despair of finding the much desired Cretan-Egyp- 
tian bilingual inscription yet. Perhaps the double text 
of a treaty between Crete and Egypt, like that of 
Ramses II with the Hittites, may come to light. Mean- 
while w r e can only do our best with the means at our 
hand to trace out the history of the relations of the 
oldest European culture with the ancient civilization of 
Egypt. The tomb-paintings at Thebes are very impor- 
tant material. For it is due to them that the voice of 
the doubter has finally ceased to be heard, and that now 
no archaeologist questions that the Egyptians were in 

1 See above, p. 128. 


direct communication with the Cretan Mycenaeans in the 
time of the XVIIIth Dynasty, some fifteen hundred 
years before Christ, for no one doubts that the pictures 
of the Keftiu are pictures of Mycenaeans. 

As we have seen, we know that this connection was 
far older than the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty, but 
it is during that time and the Hyksos period that we 
have the clearest documentary proof of its existence, 
from the statuette of Abnub and the alabastron lid of 
King Khian, found at Knossos, down to the Mycenaean 
pottery fragments found at Tell el-Amarna, a site which 
has been utterly abandoned since the time of the heretic 
Akhunaten (b. c. 1430), so that there is no possibility 
of anything found there being later than his time. That 
the connection existed as late as the time of the XXth 
Dynasty we know from the representations of golden 
Bugelkannen or false-necked vases of Mycenaean form 
in the tomb of Ramses III in the Biban el-Muluk, and 
of golden cups of Vaphio type in the tomb of Imadua, 
already mentioned. This brings the connection down to 
about 1050 b. c. 

After that date we cannot hope to find any certain 
evidence of connection, for by that time the Mycenaean 
civilization had probably come to an end. In the days 
of the Xllth and XVIIIth Dynasties a great and splen- 
did power evidently existed in Crete, and sent its peace- 
ful ambassadors, the Keftiu who are represented in 
the Theban tombs, to Egypt. But with the XlXth 
Dynasty the name of the Keftiu disappears from Egyp- 
tian records, and their place is taken by a congeries 


of warring seafaring tribes, whose names as given by 
the Egyptians seem to be forms of tribal and place 
names well known to us in the Greece of later days. 
We find the Akaivasha (Axatfol, Achaians), Shakalsha 
(Sagalassians of Pisidia), Tursha (Tylissians of Crete?), 
and Shardana (Sardians) allied with the Libyans and 
Mashauash (Maxyes) in a land attack upon Egypt in 
the days of Meneptah, the successor of Ramses II— just 
as in the later days of the XXVIth Dynasty the North- 
ern pirates visited the African shore of the Mediter- 
ranean, and in alliance with the predatory Libyans 
attacked Egypt. 

Prof. Petrie has lately 1 proffered an alternative view, 
which would make all these tribes Tunisians and Alge- 
rians, thus disposing of the identification of the Akai- 
vasha with the Achaians, and making them the ancient 
representatives of the town of el-Aghwat (Roman 
Agbia) in Tunis. But several difficulties might be 
pointed out which are in the way of an acceptance of 
this view, and it is probable that the older identifica- 
tions with Greek tribes m^st still be retained, so that 
Meneptah 's Akaivasha are evidently the ancient repre- 
sentatives of the Achai(v)ans, the Achivi of the Roman 
poets. The terminations sha and na 9 which appear in 
these names, are merely ethnic and locative affixes be- 
longing to the Asianic language system spoken by these 
tribes at that time, to which the language of the Minoan 
Cretans (which is written in the Knossian hieroglyphs) 
belonged. They existed in ancient Lycian in the forms 

1 History of Egypt, iii, pp. Ill, 112. 


azzi and nna, and we find them enshrined in the Asia 
Minor place-names terminating in assos and nda, as 
Halikarnassos, Sagalassos (Shakalasha in Meneptah's 
inscription), Oroanda, and Labraunda (which, as we 
have seen, is the same as the Greek XafivpivOo?, a word of 
pre-Hellenic origin, both meaning " Place of the Double 
Axe ")• The identification of these sha and na termi- 
nations in the Egyptian transliterations of the foreign 
names, with the Lycian affixes referred to, was made 
some five years ago, 1 and is now generally accepted. 
We have, then, to find the equivalents of these names, 
to strike off the final termination, as in the case of 
Akaiva-sha, where Akaiva only is the real name, and 
this seems to be the Egyptian equivalent of Axaifol, 
Achivi. It is strange to meet with this great name on 
an Egyptian monument of the thirteenth century b. c. 
But yet not so strange, when we recollect that it is pre- 
cisely to that period that Greek legend refers the war 
of Troy, which was an attack by Greek tribes from all 
parts of the ^3Egean upon the Asianic city at Hissarlik 
in the Troad, exactly parallel to the attacks of the 
Northerners on Egypt. And Homer preserves many 
a reminiscence of early Greek visits, peaceful and the 
reverse, to the coast of Egypt at this period. The reader 
will have noticed that one no longer treats the siege 
of Troy as a myth. To do so would be to exhibit a 
most uncritical mind; even the legends of King Arthur 
have a historic foundation, and those of the Nibelungen 
are still more probable. 

1 See Hall, Oldest Civilization of Greece, p. 178/. 


In the eighth year of Ramses IH the second North- 
ern attack was made, by the Pulesta (Pelishtim, Philis- 
tines), Tjakaray, Shakalasha (Sagalassians), Vashasha, 
and Danauna or Daanau, in alliance with North Syrian 
tribes. The Danauna are evidently the ancient repre- 
sentatives of the Aavaol, the Danaans who formed the 
bulk of the Greek army against Troy under the leader- 
ship of the long-haired Achaians, /ea/o^ofioWTe? 'Axaiol 
(like the Keftiu). The Vashasha have been identified 
by the writer with the Axians, the fa^ioi of Crete. 
Prof. Petrie compares the name of the Tjakaray with 
that of the (modern) place Zakro in Crete. Identifica- 
tions with modern place-names are of doubtful value; 
for instance, we cannot but hold that Prof. Petrie errs 
greatly in identifying the name of the Pidasa (another 
tribe mentioned in Ramses II 's time) with that of the 
river Pidias in Cyprus. " Pidias " is a purely modern 
corruption of the ancient Pediaeus, which means the 
" plain-river " (because it flows through the central 
plain of the island), from the Greek m-ehlov. If, then, 
we make the Pidasa Cypriotes we assume that pure 
Greek was spoken in Cyprus as early as 1100 b. c, which 
is highly improbable. The Pidasa were probably Le- 
leges (Pedasians) ; the name of Pisidia may be the same, 
by metathesis. Pedasos is a name always connected 
with the much wandering tribe of the Leleges, where- 
ever they are found in Lakonia or in Asia Minor. We 
believe them to have been known to the Egyptians as 
Pidasa. The identification of the Tjakaray with Zakro 
is very tempting. The name was formerly identified 


with that of the Teukrians, but the v in the word Tevtcpoi 
has always been a stumbling-block in the way. Perhaps 
Zakro is neither more nor less than the Tew^os-name, 
since the legendary Teucer, the archer, was connected 
with the eastern or Eteokretan end of Crete, where 
Zakro lies. In Mycenaean times Zakro was an impor- 
tant place, so that the Tjakaray may be the Teukroi, 
after all, and Zakro may preserve the name. At any 
rate, this identification is most alluring and, taken in 
conjunction with the other cumulative identifications, 
is very probable; but the identification of the Pidasa 
with the river Pediseus in Cyprus is neither alluring 
nor probable. 

In the time of Ramses II some of these Asia Minor 
tribes had marched against Egypt as allies of the Hit- 
tites. We find among them the Luka or Lycians, the 
Dardenui (Dardanians, who may possibly have been at 
that time in the Troad, or elsewhere, for all these 
tribes were certainly migratory) , and the Masa (perhaps 
the Mysians). With the Cretans of Ramses Ill's time 
must be reckoned the Pulesta, who are certainly the 
Philistines, then most probably in course of their tra- 
ditional migration from Crete to Palestine. In Philistia 
recent excavations by Mr. Welch have disclosed the 
unmistakable presence of a late Mycenaean culture, and 
we can only ascribe this to the Philistines, who were 
of Cretan origin. 

Thus we see that all these Northern tribal names hold 
together with remarkable persistence, and in fact refuse 
to be identified with any tribes but those of Asia Minor 


and the ^Egean. In tliem we see the broken remnants 
of the old Minoan (Keftian) power, driven hither and 
thither across the seas by intestinal feuds, and " wind- 
ing the skein of grievous wars till every man of them 
perished," as Homer says of the heroes after the siege 
of Troy. These were in fact the wanderings of the 
heroes, the period of Sturm und Drang which succeeded 
the great civilized epoch of Minos and his thalassocracy, 
of Knossos, Phaistos, and the Keftius. On the walls 
of the temple of Medinet Habu, Ramses III depicted the 
portraits of the conquered heroes who had fallen before 
the Egyptian onslaught, and he called them heroes, taker 
in Egyptian, fully recognizing their Berserker gallantry. 
Above all in interest are the portraits of the Philistines, 
those Greeks who at this very time seized part of Pal- 
estine (which takes its name from them), and continued 
to exist there as a separate people (like the Normans 
in Prance) for at least two centuries. Goliath the giant 
was, then, a Greek; certainly he was of Cretan descent, 
and so a Pelasgian. 

Such are the conclusions to which modern discovery 
in Crete has impelled us with regard to the pictures of 
the Keftiu at Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna. It is indeed a new 
chapter in the history of the relations of ancient Egypt 
with the outside world that Dr. Arthur Evans has 
opened for us. And in this connection some American 
work must not be overlooked. An expedition sent out 
by the University of Pennsylvania, under Miss Harriet 
Boyd, has discovered much of importance to Mycenaean 
study in the ruins of an ancient town at Gournia in 


Crete, east of Knossos. Here, however, little has been 
found that will bear directly on the question of relations 
between Mycenaean Greece and Egypt. 

The Theban necropoles of the New Empire are by 
no means exhausted by a description of the Tombs of 
the Kings and Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna; but few new dis- 
coveries have been made anywhere except in the pic- 
turesque valley of the Tombs of the Queens, south of 
Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna. Here the Italian Egyptologist, 
Prof. Schiaparelli, has lately discovered and excavated 
some very fine tombs of the XlXth and XXth Dynasties. 
The best is that of Queen Nefertari, one of the wives of 
Ramses H. The colouring of the reliefs upon these walls 
is extraordinarily bright, and the portraits of the queen, 
who has a very beautiful face, with aquiline nose, are 
wonderfully preserved. She was of the dark type, while 
another queen, Titi by name, who was buried close by, 
was fair, and had a retrousse nose. Prof. Schiaparelli 
also discovered here the tombs of some princes of the 
XXth Dynasty, who died young. All the tombs are 
much alike, with a single short gallery, on the walls 
of which are mythological scenes, figures of the prince 
and of his father, the king, etc., painted in a crude style, 
which shows a great degeneration from that of the 
XVIIIth Dynasty tombs. 

We now leave the great necropolis and turn to the 
later temples of the Western Bank at Thebes. These 
were of a funerary character, like those of Der el-Bahari, 
already described. The most imposing of all in some 
respects is the Ramesseum, where lies the huge granite 



colossus of Ramses II, prostrate and broken, which 
Diodorus knew as the statue of Osymandyas. This name 
is a late corruption of Ramses II 's throne-name, User- 
maat-Ra, pronounced Usimare. The temple has been 


In which Prof. Schiaparelli discovered the tomb of Ramses IPs wife (1904). 

cleared by Mr. Howard Carter for the Egyptian gov- 
ernment, and the small town of priests' houses, maga- 
zines, and cellars, to the west of it, has been excavated 
by him. This is quite a little Pompeii, with its small 
streets, its houses with the stucco still clinging to the 


walls, its public altar, its market colonnade, and its 
gallery of statues. The statues are only of brick like 
the walls, and roughly shaped and plastered, but they 
were portraits, undoubtedly, of celebrities of the time, 
though we do not know of whom. On either side are 
the long magazines in which were kept the possessions 
of the priests of the Ramesseum, the grain from the 
lands with which they were endowed, and everything 
meet to be offered to the ghost of the king whom they 
served. The plan of the place had evidently been altered 
after the time of Ramses II, as remains of overbuilding 
were found here and there. The magazines were first 
investigated in 1896 by Prof. Petrie, who also found 
in the neighbourhood the remains of a number of small 
royal funerary temples of the XVTIIth Dynasty, all 
looking in the direction of the hill, beyond which lay 
the tombs of the kings. 

We may now turn to Luxor, where immediately above 
the landing-place of the steamers and dahabiyas rise the 
stately coloured colonnades of the Temple of Luxor. Un- 
fortunately, modern excavations have not been allowed 
to pursue their course to completion here, as in the first 
great colonnaded court, which was added by Ramses II 
to the original building of Amenhetep III, Tutankha- 
men, and Horemheb, there still remains the Mohamme- 
dan Mosque of Abu-'l-Haggag, which may not be re- 
moved. Abu-'l-Haggag, " the Father of Pilgrims " (so 
called on account of the number of pilgrims to his 
shrine), was a very holy shekh, and his memory is held 
in the greatest reverence by the Luksuris. It is unlucky 



that this mosque was built within the court of the Great 
Temple, and it cannot be removed till Moslem religious 
prejudices become at least partially ameliorated, and 
then the work of completely excavating the Temple of 
Luxor may be carried out. 

Between Luxor and Karnak lay the temple of the 
goddess Mut, consort of Amen and protectress of 



yJ|j»iS %.„ 

• js» 


Thebes. It stood in the part of the city known as 
Asheru. This building was cleared in 1895 at the ex- 
pense and under the supervision of two English ladies, 
Miss Benson and Miss Gourlay. The temple had always 
been remarkable on account of the prodigious num- 
ber of seated figures of the lioness-headed goddess 
Sekhemet, or Pakhet, which it contains, dedicated by 


Amenhetep III and Sheshenk I; most of those in the 
British Museum were brought from this temple. The 
excavators found many more of them, and also some 
very interesting portrait-statues of the late period which 
had been dedicated there. The most important of these 
was the head and shoulders of a statue of Mentuemhat, 
governor of Thebes at the time of the sack of the city by 
Ashur-bani-pal of Assyria in 668 b. c. In Miss Benson's 
interesting book, The Temple of Mut in Asher, it is 
suggested, on the authority of Prof. Petrie, that his 
facial type is Cypriote, but this speculation is a dan- 
gerous one, as is also the similar speculation that the 
wonderful portrait-head of an old man found by Miss 
Benson 1 is of Philistine type. We have only to look at 
the faces of elderly Egyptians to-day to see that the 
types presented by Mentuemhat and Miss Benson's 
" Philistine " need be nothing but pure Egyptian. The 
whole work of the clearing was most efficiently carried 
out, and the Cairo Museum obtained from it some val- 
uable specimens of Egyptian sculpture. 

The Great Temple of Karnak is one of the chief 
cares of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. Its 
paramount importance, so to speak, as the cathedral 
temple of Egypt, renders its preservation and explora- 
tion a work of constant necessity, and its great extent 
makes this work one which is always going on and 
which probably will be going on for many years to come. 
The Temple of Karnak has cost the Egyptian govern- 
ment much money, yet not a piastre of this can be 

1 Plate vii of her book. 



grudged. For several years past the works have been 
under the charge of M. Georges Legrain, the well-known 
engineer and draughtsman who was associated with 


The left-hand obelisk is the highest in Egypt, and was erected by Hatshepsu; the right-hand 

obelisk was put up by Thothmes III. 

M. de Morgan in the work at Dashur. His task is 
to clear out the whole temple thoroughly, to discover 
in it what previous investigators have left undiscovered, 
and to restore to its original position what has fallen. 


No general work of restoration is contemplated, nor 
would this be in the slightest degree desirable. Up 
to the present M. Legrain has certainly carried out all 
three branches of his task with great success. An un- 
foreseen event has, however, considerably complicated 
and retarded the work. In October, 1899, one of the 
columns of the side aisles of the great Hypostyle Hall 
fell, bringing down with it several others. The whole 
place was a chaotic ruin, and for a moment it seemed 
as though the whole of the Great Hall, one of the won- 
ders of the world, would collapse. The disaster was 
due to the gradual infiltration of water from the Nile 
beneath the structure, whose foundations, as is usual 
in Egypt, were of the flimsiest description. Even the 
most imposing Egyptian temples have jerry-built foun- 
dations; usually they are built on the top of the wall- 
stumps of earlier buildings of different plan, filled in 
with a confused mass of earlier slabs and weak rubbish 
of all kinds. Had the Egyptian buildings been built on 
sure foundations, they would have been preserved to a 
much greater extent even than they are. In such a 
climate as that of Egypt a stone building well built 
should last for ever. 

M. Legrain has for the last five years been busy 
repairing the damage. All the fallen columns are now 
restored to the perpendicular, and the capitals and archi- 
traves are in process of being hoisted into their original 
positions. The process by which M. Legrain carries 
out this work has been already described. He works 
in the old Egyptian fashion, building great inclines or 


ramps of earth up which the pillar-drums, the capitals, 
and the architrave-blocks are hauled by manual labour, 
and then swung into position. This is the way in which 
the Egyptians built Karnak, and in this w r ay, too, M. Le- 
grain is rebuilding it. It is a slow process, but a sure 
one, and now it will not be long before we shall see 
the hall, except its roof, in much the same condition as 
it was when Seti built it. Lovers of the picturesque 
will, however, miss the famous leaning column, hanging 
poised across the hall, which has been a main feature 
in so many pictures and photographs of Karnak. This 
fell in the catastrophe of 1899, and naturally it has not 
been possible to restore it to its picturesque, but dan- 
gerous, position. 

The work at Karnak has been distinguished during 
the last two years by two remarkable discoveries. Out- 
side the main temple, to the north of the Hypostyle Hall, 
M. Legrain found a series of private sanctuaries or 
shrines, built of brick by personages of the XVIIIth 
Dynasty and later, in order to testify their devotion 
to Amen. In these small cells were found some remark- 
able statues, one of which is illustrated. It is one of 
the most perfect of its kind. A great dignitary of the 
XVIIIth Dynasty is seen seated with his wife, their 
daughter standing between them. Round his neck are 
four chains of golden rings, with which he had been 
decorated by the Pharaoh for his services. It is a 
remarkable group, interesting for its style and work- 
manship as well as for its subject. As an example of 
the formal hieratic type of portraiture it is very fine. 



The other and more important discovery of the two 
was made by M. Legrain on the south side of the Hypo- 
style Hall. Tentative excavations, begun in an unoccu- 

m. legrain's excavation of the karnak statues in progress. 

pied tract under the wall of the hall, resulted in the 
discovery of parts of statues; the place was then regu- 
larly excavated, and the result has been amazing. The 



ground was full of statues, large and small, at some 
unknown period buried pell-mell, one on the top of an- 
other. Some are broken, but the majority are perfect, 
which is in itself unusual, and is due very much to the 
soft, muddy soil in which they have lain. Statues found 
on dry desert land are often terribly cracked, especially 
when they are of black granite, the crystals of which 
seem to have a greater tendency to disintegration than 
have those of the red syenite. The Karnak statues are 
figures of pious persons, who had dedicated portraits 
of themselves in the temple of Amen, together with 
those of great men whom the king had honoured by 
ordering their statues placed in the temple during their 

Of this number was the great sage Amenhetep, son 
of Hapi, the founder of the little desert temple of 
Der el-Medina, near Der el-Bahari, who was a sort of 
prime minister under Amenhetep III, and was venerated 
in later days as a demigod. His statue was found with 
the others by M. Legrain. Among them is a figure made 
entirely of green felspar, an unusual material for so 
large a statuette. *A fine portrait of Thothmes III was 
also found. The illustration shows this wonderfully 
fruitful excavation in progress, with the diggers at work 
in the black mud soil, in the foreground the basket- 
boys carrying away the rubbish on their shoulders, and 
the massive granite walls of the Great Hypostyle Hall 
of Seti in the background. The huge size of the roof- 
blocks is noticeable. These are not the actual upper- 
most roof-blocks, but only the architraves from pillar 



to pillar; the original roof consisted of similar blocks 
laid across in the transverse direction from architrave 
to architrave. An Egyptian granite temple was in fact 



Discovered by M. Legrain at Karnak. 

built upon the plan of a child's box of bricks; it was 
but a modified and beautified Stonehenge. 

Other important discoveries have been made by 



M. Legrain in the course of his work. Among them are 
statues of the late Middle Kingdom, including one of 
King Usertsen (Senusret) IV of the Xlllth Dynasty, 
There are also reliefs of the reign of Amenhetep I, which 
are remarkable for the delicacy of their workmanship 
and the sureness of their technique. We know that the 


The Tomb of Pentu (No. 5) at 'Tell el-Amarna, inhabited by Mr. 
de G. Davies during his work for the Archaeological Survey of 
Egypt (Egypt Exploration Fund). About 1400 b. c. 

temple was built as early as the time of Usertsen, for 
in it have been found one or two of his blocks; and no 
doubt the original shrine, which was rebuilt in the time 
of Philip Arrhidseus, was of the same period, but hith- 
erto no remains of the centuries between his time and 
that of Hatshepsu had been found. With M. Legrain 's 
work in the greatest temple of Thebes we finish our 


account of the new discoveries in the chief city of an- 
cient Egypt, as we began it with the work of M. Naville 
in the oldest temple there. 

One of the most interesting questions connected with 
the archaeology of Thebes is that which asks whether 
the heretical disk-worshipper Akhunaten (Amenhe- 
tep IV) erected buildings there, and whether any trace 
of them has ever been discovered. To those who are 
interested in Egyptian history and religion the transi- 
tory episode of the disk-worship heresy is already famil- 
iar. The precise character of the heretical dogma, which 
Amenhetep IV proclaimed and desired his subjects to 
accept, has lately been well explained by Mr. de Garis 
Davies in his volumes, published by the " Archaeological 
Survey of Egypt " branch of the Egypt Exploration 
Fund, on the tombs of el-Amarna. He shows that the 
heretical doctrine was a monotheism of a very high 
order. Amenhetep IV (or as he preferred to call him- 
self, Akhunaten, " Glory of the Disk ") did not, as has 
usually been supposed, merely worship the Sun-disk 
itself as the giver of life, and nothing more. He ven- 
erated the glowing disk merely as the visible emanation 
of the deity behind it, who dispensed heat and life to 
all living things through its medium. The disk was, 
so to speak, the window in heaven through which the 
unknown God, the " Lord of the Disk," shed a portion 
of his radiance on the world. Now, given an ignorance 
of the true astronomical character of the sun, we see 
how eminently rational a religion this was. In effect, 
the sun is the source of all life upon this earth, and 


so Akhunaten caused its rays to be depicted each with 
a hand holding out the sign of life to the earth. The 
monotheistic worship of the sun alone is certainly the 
highest form of pagan religion, but Akhunaten saw fur- 
ther than this. His doctrine was that there was a deity 
behind the sun, whose glory shone through it and gave 
us life. This deity was unnamed and unnamable; he 
was " the Lord of the Disk." We see in his heresy, 
therefore, the highest attitude to which religious ideas 
had attained before the days of the Hebrew prophets. 

This religion seems to have been developed out of 
the philosophical speculations of the priests of the Sun 
at Heliopolis. Akhunaten with unwise iconoclastic zeal 
endeavoured to root out the worship of the ancient gods 
of Egypt, and especially that of Amen-Ea, the ruler of 
the Egyptian pantheon, whose primacy in the hearts of 
the people made him the most redoubtable rival of the 
new doctrine. But the name of the old Sun-god Ra- 
Harmachis was spared, and it is evident that Akhunaten 
regarded him as more or less identical with his god. 

It has been supposed by Prof. Petrie that Queen Tii, 
the mother of Akhunaten, was of Mitannian (Armenian) 
origin, and that she brought the Aten religion to Egypt 
from her native land, and taught it to her son. Cer- 
tainly it seems as though the new doctrine had made 
some headway before the death of Amenhetep III, but 
we have no reason to attribute it to Tii, or to suppose 
that she brought it with her from abroad. There is no 
proof whatever that she was not a native Egyptian, and 
the mummies of her parents, Iuaa and Tuaa, are purely 


Egyptian in facial type. It seems undoubted that the 
Aten cult was a development of pure Egyptian religious 

At first Akhunaten tried to establish his religion at 
Thebes alongside that of Amen and his attendant pan- 
theon. He seems to have built a temple to the Aten 
there, and we see that his courtiers began to make tombs 
for themselves in the new realistic style of sculptural 
art, which the king, heretical in art as in religion, had 
introduced. The tomb of Rames at Shekh 'Abd el- 
Kurna has on one side of the door a representation of 
the king in the old regular style, and on the other side 
one in the new realistic style, which depicts him in all 
the native ugliness in which this strange truth-loving 
man seems to have positively gloried. We find, too, that 
he caused a temple to the Aten to be erected in far-away 
Napata, the capital of Nubia, by Jebel Barkal in the 
Sudan. The facts as to the Theban and Napata temples 
have been pointed out by Prof. Breasted, of Chicago. 

But the opposition of the Theban priesthood was too 
strong. Akhunaten shook the dust of the capital off 
his feet and retired to the isolated city of Akhet-aten, 
" the Glory of the Disk," at the modern Tell el-Amarna, 
where he could philosophize in peace, while his king- 
dom was left to take care of itself. He and his wife 
Nefret-iti, who seems to have been a faithful sharer of 
his views, reigned over a select court of Aten-worship- 
ping nobles, priests, and artists. The artists had under 
Akhunaten an unrivalled opportunity for development, 
of which they had already begun to take considerable 


advantage before the end of his reign and the restora- 
tion of the old order of ideas. Their style takes on 
itself an almost bizarre freedom, which reminds us 
strongly of the similar characteristic in Mycenaean art. 
There is a strange little relief in the Berlin Museum 
of the king standing cross-legged, leaning on a staff, 
and languidly smelling a flower, while the queen stands 
by with her garments blown about by the wind. The 
artistic monarch's graceful attitude is probably a faith- 
ful transcript of a characteristic pose. 

We see from this what an Egyptian artist could do 
when his shackles were removed, but unluckily Egypt 
never produced another king who was at the same time 
an original genius, an artist, and a thinker. When 
Akhunaten died, the Egyptian artists' shackles were 
riveted tighter than ever. The reaction was strong. 
The kingdom had fallen into anarchy, and the foreign 
empire which his predecessors had built up had prac- 
tically been thrown to the winds by Akhunaten. The 
whole is an example of the confusion and disorganiza- 
tion w T hich ensue when a philosopher rules. Not long 
after the heretic's death the old religion was fully re- 
stored, the cult of the disk was blotted out, and the 
Egyptians returned joyfully to the worship of their 
myriad deities. Akhunaten 's ideals were too high for 
them. The debris of the foreign empire was, as usual 
in such cases, put together again, and customary law 
and order restored by the conservative reactionaries who 
succeeded him. Henceforth Egyptian civilization runs 
an uninspired and undeveloping course till the days of 



the Sai'tes and the Ptolemies. This point in the history 
of Egypt, therefore, forms a convenient stopping-place 
at which to pause, while we turn once more to Western 
Asia, and ascertain to what extent recent excavations 
and research have thrown new light upon the problems 
connected with the rise and history of the Assyrian and 
Neo-Babylonian Empires. 




HHHE early history of Assyria has long been a subject 
on which historians were obliged to trust largely to 
conjecture, in their attempts to reconstruct the stages 
by which its early rulers obtained their independence 
and laid the foundations of the mighty empire over 
which their successors ruled. That the land was colo- 
nized from Babylonia and was at first ruled as a depend- 
ency of the southern kingdom have long been regarded 
as established facts, but until recently little was known 
of its early rulers and governors, and still less of the 
condition of the country and its capital during the early 
periods of their existence. Since the excavations car- 
ried out by the British Museum at Kala Sherghat, on 
the western bank of the Tigris, it has been known that 
the mounds at that spot mark the site of the city of 
Ashur, the first capital of the Assyrians, and the monu- 
ments and records recovered during those excavations 
have hitherto formed our principal source of information 



for the early history of the country. 1 Some of the oldest 
records found in the course of these excavations were 
short votive texts inscribed by rulers who bore the title 
of ishshakku, corresponding to the Sumerian and early 
Babylonian title of patesi, and with some such meaning 
as " viceroy." It was rightly conjectured from the title 
which they bore that these early rulers owed allegiance 
to the kings of Babylon and were their nominees, or at 
any rate their tributaries. The names of a few of these 
early viceroys were recovered from their votive inscrip- 
tions and from notices in later historical texts, but it 
was obvious that our knowledge of early Assyrian his- 
tory would remain very fragmentary until systematic 
excavations in Assyria were resumed. Three years ago 
(1902) the British Museum resumed excavations at 
Kuyunjik, the site of Nineveh. The work was begun 
and carried out under the direction of Mr. L. W. 
King, but since last summer has been continued by 
Mr. R. C. Thompson. Last year, too, excavations 
were reopened at Sherghat by the Deutsch-Orient Ge- 
sellschaft, at first under the direction of Dr. Koldewey, 
and afterwards under that of Dr. Andrae, by whom 
they are at present being carried on. This renewed 
activity on the sites of the ancient cities of Assyria is 
already producing results of considerable interest, and 
the veil which has so long concealed the earlier periods 
in the history of that country is being lifted. 

Shortly before these excavations in Assyria were 

1 For the texts and translations of these documents, see Budge and King, 
Annals of the Kings of Assyria, pp. i ff. 


set on foot an indication was obtained from an early 
Babylonian text that the history of Assyria as a depend- 
ent state or province of Babylon must be pushed back 
to a far more remote period than had hitherto been sup- 
posed. In one of Hammurabi's letters to Sin-idinnam, 
governor of the city of Larsam, to which reference has 
already been made, 1 directions are given for the despatch 
to the king of " two hundred and forty men of ' the 
King's Company ' under the command of Nannar-iddina 
. . . who have left the country of Ashur and the dis- 
trict of Shitullum." From this most interesting refer- 
ence it followed that the country to the north of Baby- 
lonia was known as Assyria at the time of the kings 
of the First Dynasty of Babylon, and the fact that Baby- 
lonian troops were stationed there by Hammurabi 
proved that the country formed an integral part of the 
Babylonian empire. 

These conclusions were soon after strikingly con- 
firmed by two passages in the introductory sections of 
Hammurabi's code of laws which was discovered at 
Susa. 2 Here Hammurabi records that he " restored his 


(i. e. the god Ashur 's) protecting image unto the city 
of Ashur," and a few lines farther on he describes him- 
self as the king " who hath made the names of Ishtar 
glorious in the city of Nineveh in the temple of E-mish- 
mish." That Ashur should be referred to at this period 
is what we might expect, inasmuch as it was known 
to have been the earliest capital of Assyria; more strik- 
ing is the reference to Nineveh, proving as it does that 

1 See above, p. 301. 2 See above, p. 267. 


it was a flourishing city in Hammurabi's time and that 
the temple of Ishtar there had already been long estab- 
lished. It is true that Gudea, the Sumerian patesi of 
Shirpurla, records that he rebuilt the temple of the god- 
dess Ninni (Ishtar) at a place called Nina. Now Nina 
may very probably be identified with Nineveh, but many 
writers have taken it to be a place in Southern Baby- 
lonia and possibly a district of Shirpurla itself. No 
such uncertainty attaches to Hammurabi's reference to 
Nineveh, which is undoubtedly the Assyrian city of that 
name. Although no account has yet been published of 
the recent excavations carried out at Nineveh by the 
British Museum, they fully corroborate the inference 
drawn with regard to the great age of the city. The 
series of trenches which were cut deep into the lower 
strata of Kuyunjik revealed numerous traces of very 
early habitations on the mound. 

Neither in Hammurabi's letters, nor upon the stele 
inscribed with his code of laws, is any reference made 
to the contemporary governor or ruler of Assyria, but 
on a contract tablet preserved in the Pennsylvania Mu- 
seum a name has been recovered which will probably 
be identified with that of the ruler of Assyria in Ham- 
murabi's reign. In legal and commercial documents of 
the period of the First Dynasty of Babylon the con- 
tracting parties frequently swore by the names of two 
gods (usually Shamash and Marduk) and also that of 
the reigning king. Now it has been found by Dr. Eanke 
that on this document in the Pennsylvania Museum the 
contracting parties swear by the name of Hammurabi 


and also by that of Shamshi-Adad. As only gods and 
kings are mentioned in the oath formulae of this period, 
it follows that Shamshi-Adad was* a king, or at any rate 
a patesi or ishshakku. Now from its form the name 
Shamshi-Adad must be that of an Assyrian, not that 
of a Babylonian, and, since he is associated in the oath 
formula with Hammurabi, it is legitimate to conclude 
that he governed Assyria in the time of Hammurabi 
as a dependency of Babylon. An early Assyrian ish- 
shakku of this name, who was the son of Ishme-Dagan, 
is mentioned by Tiglath-Pileser I, but he cannot be iden- 
tified with the ruler of the time of Hammurabi, since, 
according to Tiglath-Pileser, he ruled too late, about 
1800 b. c. A brick-inscription of another Shamshi-Adad, 
however, the son of Igur-kapkapu, is preserved in the 
British Museum, and it is probable that we may identify 
him with Hammurabi's Assyrian viceroy. Erishum and 
his son Ikunum, whose inscriptions are also preserved 
in the British Museum, should certainly be assigned to 
an early period of Assyrian history. 

The recent excavations at Sherghat are already yield- 
ing the names of other early Assyrian viceroys, and, 
although the texts of the inscriptions in which their 
names occur have not yet been published, we may briefly 
enumerate the more important of the discoveries that 
have been made. Last year a small cone or cylinder 
was found which, though it bears only a few lines of 
inscription, restores the names of no less than seven 
early Assyrian viceroys whose existence was not pre- 
viously known. The cone was inscribed by Ashir-rim- 


nisheshu, who gives his own genealogy and records the 
restoration of the wall of the city of Ashur, which he 
states had been rebuilt by certain of his predecessors 
on the throne. The principal portion of the inscription 
reads as follows: " Ashir-rim-nisheshu, the viceroy of 
the god Ashir, the son of Ashir-nirari, the viceroy of 
the god Ashir, the son of Ashir-rabi, the viceroy. The 
city wall which Kikia, Ikunum, Shar-kenkate-Ashir, and 
Ashir-nirari, the son of Ishme-Dagan, my forefathers, 
had built, was fallen, and for the preservation of my 
life ... I rebuilt it." Perhaps no inscription has yet 
been recovered in either Assyria or Babylonia which 
contained so much new information packed into so small 
a space. Of the names of the early viceroys mentioned 
in it only one was previously known, i. e. the name of 
Ikunum, the son of Erishum> is found in a late copy of 
a votive text preserved in the British Museum. Thus 
from these few lines the names of three rulers in direct 
succession have been recovered, viz., Ashir-rabi, Ashir- 
nirari, and Ashur-rim-nisheshu, and also those of four 
earlier rulers, viz., Kikia, Shar-kenkate-Ashir, Ishme- 
Dagan, and his son Ashir-nirari. Another interesting 
point about the inscription is the spelling of the name 
of the national god of the Assyrians. In the later peri- 
ods it is always written Ashur, but at this early time 
we see that the second vowel is changed and that at first 
the name was written Ashir, a form that was already 
known from the Cappadocian cuneiform inscriptions. 
The form Ashir is a good participial construction and 
signifies " the Beneficent," " the Merciful One." 


Another interesting find, which was also made last 
year, consists of four stone tablets, each engraved with 
the same building-inscription of Shahnaneser I, a king 
who reigned over Assyria about 1300 b. c. In recording 
his rebuilding of E-kharsag-kurkura, the temple of the 
god Ashur in the city of Ashur, he gives a brief sum- 
mary of the temple's history with details as to the 
length of time which elapsed between the different peri- 
ods during which it had been previously restored. The 
temple w r as burned in Shahnaneser 's time, and, when 
recording this fact and the putting out of the fire, he 
summarizes the temple's history in a long parenthesis, 
as will be seen from the following translation of the 
extract: " When E-kharsag-kurkura, the temple of 
Ashur, my lord, which Ushpia (variant AusJipia), the 
priest of Ashur, my forefather, had built aforetime,— 
and it fell into decay and Erishu, my forefather, the 
priest of Ashur, rebuilt it; 159 years passed by after 
the reign of Erishu, and that temple fell into decay, 
and Shamshi-Adad, the priest of Ashur, rebuilt it; (dur- 
ing) 580 years that tempje which Shamshi-Adad, the 
priest of Ashur, had built, grew hoary and old— (when) 
fire broke out in the midst thereof . . . , at that time 
I drenched that temple (w r ith water) in (all) its cir- 

From this extract it will be seen that Shahnaneser 
gives us, in Ushpia or Aushpia, the name of a very early 
Assyrian viceroy, who in his belief was the founder of 
the great temple of the god Ashur. He also tells us 
that 159 years separated Erishu from a viceroy named 


Shamshi-Adad, and that 580 years separated Shamshi- 
Adad from his own time. When these inscriptions were 
first found they were hailed with considerable satisfac- 
tion by historians, as they gave what seemed to be valu- 
able information for settling the chronology of the early 
patesis. But confidence in the accuracy of Shalmaneser's 
reckoning was somewhat shaken a few months after- 
wards by the discovery of a prism of Esarhaddon, who 
gave in it a history of the same temple, but ascribed 
totally different figures for the periods separating the 
reigns of Erishu and Shamshi-Adad, and the temple's 
destruction by fire. Esarhaddon agrees with Shalma- 
neser in ascribing the founding of the temple to Ushpia, 
but he states that only 126 years (instead of 159 years) 
separated Erishu (whom he spells Irishu), the son of 
Ilu-shumma, from Shamshi-Adad, the son of Bel-kabi; 
and he adds that 434 years (instead of 580 years) elapsed 
between Shamshi-Adad 's restoration of the temple and 
the time when it was burned down. As Shalmaneser I 
lived over six hundred years earlier than Esarhaddon, 
he was obviously in a better position to ascertain the 
periods at which the events recorded took place, but 
the discrepancy between the figures he gives and those 
of Esarhaddon is disconcerting. It shows that Assyrian 
scribes could make bad mistakes in their reckoning, and 
it serves to cast discredit on the absolute accuracy of 
the chronological notices contained in other late Assyr- 
ian inscriptions. So far from helping to settle the un- 
solved problems of Assyrian chronology, these two 
recent finds at Sherghat have introduced fresh confusion, 


and Assyrian chronology for the earlier periods is once 
more cast into the melting pot. 

In addition to the recovery of the names of hitherto 
unknown early rulers of Assyria, the recent excavations 
at Sherghat have enabled us to ascertain the true read- 
ing of the name of Shalmaneser I's grandfather, who 
reigned a considerable time after Assyria had gained 
her independence. The name of this king has hitherto 
been read as Pudi-ilu, but it is now shown that the 
signs composing the first part of the name are not to 
be taken phonetically, but as ideographs, the true read- 
ing of the name being Arik-den-ilu, the signification of 
which is " Long (t. e. far-reaching) is the judgment of 
God." Arik-den-ilu was a great conqueror, as were 
his immediate descendants, all of w T hom extended the 
territory of Assyria. By strengthening the country and 
increasing her resources they enabled Arik-den-ilu 's 
great-grandson, Tukulti-Mnib I, to achieve the conquest 
of Babylon itself. Concerning Tukulti-Ninib 's reign 
and achievements an interesting inscription has re- 
cently been discovered. This is now preserved in 
the British Museum, and before describing it we may 
briefly refer to another phase of the excavations at 

The mounds of Sherghat rise a considerable height 
above the level of the plain, and are to a great extent 
of natural and not of artificial formation. In fact, the 
existence of a group of high natural mounds at this 
point on the bank of the Tigris must have led to its 
selection by the early Assyrians as the site on which 

Stone Object Bearing a Votive Inscription of Arik-den-ilu. 

An early independent King of Assyria, who reigned about B.C. 1350. Photograph 

by Messrs. Mansell & Co. 




to build their first stronghold. The mounds were al- 
ready so high, from their natural formation, that there 
was no need for the later Assyrian kings to increase their 
height artificially (as they raised the chief palace-mound 
at Nineveh), and the remains of the Assyrian buildings 
of the early period are thus only covered by a few feet 
of debris and not by masses of unburnt brick and arti- 


ficially piled up soil. This fact has considerably facili- 
tated the systematic uncovering of the principal mound 
that is now being carried out by Dr. Andrae. Work has 
hitherto been confined to the northwest corner of the 
mound around the ziggurat, or temple tower, and al- 
ready considerable traces of Assyrian buildings have 
been laid bare in this portion of the site. The city wall 
on the northern side has been uncovered, as well as 
quays with steps leading down to the water along the 


river front. Part of the great temple of the god Ashur 
has been excavated, though a considerable portion of it 
must be still covered by the modern Turkish fort at 
the extreme northern point of the mounds; also part 
of a palace erected by Ashur-nasir-pal has been identi- 
fied. In fact, the work at Sherghat promises to add 
considerably to our knowledge of ancient Assyrian ar- 

The inscription of Tukulti-Mnib I, which was re- 
ferred to above as having been recently acquired by 
the trustees of the British Museum, affords valuable 
information for the reconstruction of the history of 
Assyria during the first half of the thirteenth cen- 
tury b. c. 1 It is seen from the facts summarized that 
for our knowledge of the earlier history of the country 
we have to depend to a large extent on short brick- 
inscriptions and votive texts supplemented by histori- 
cal references in inscriptions of the later period. The 
only historical inscription of any length belonging to 
the early Assyrian period, which had been published 
up to a year ago, was the famous memorial slab con- 
taining an inscription of Adad-nirari I, which was 
acquired by the late Mr. George Smith some thirty years 
ago. Although purchased in Mosul, the slab had been 
found by the natives in the mounds at Sherghat, for 
the text engraved upon it in archaic Assyrian charac- 
ters records the restoration of a part of the temple of 
the god Ashur in the ancient city of Ashur, the first 

1 For the text and translation of the inscription, see King, Studies in 
Eastern History, i (1904). 


capital of the Assyrians, now marked by the mounds 
of Sherghat, which have already been described. The 
object of Adad-nirari in causing the memorial slab to 
be inscribed was to record the restoration of the portion 
of the temple which he had rebuilt, but the most im- 
portant part of the inscription was contained in the 
introductory phrases with which the text opens. They 
recorded the conquests achieved not only by Adad- 
nirari but by his father Arik-den-ilu, his grandfather 
Bel-nirari, and his great-grandfather Ashur-uballit. 
They thus enabled the historian to trace the gradual 
extension and consolidation of the Assyrian empire dur- 
ing a critical period in its early history. 

The recently recovered memorial slab of Tukulti- 
Ninib I is similar to that of his grandfather Adad- 
nirari I, and ranks in importance with it for the light 
it throws on the early struggles of Assyria. Tukulti- 
Ninib's slab, like that of Adad-nirari, was a foundation 
memorial intended to record certain building operations 
carried out by order of the king. The building so com- 
memorated was not the restoration of a portion of a 
temple, but the founding of a new city, in which the 
king erected no less than eight temples dedicated to 
various deities, while he also records that he built a 
palace therein for his own habitation, that he protected 
the city by a strongly fortified wall, and that he cut 
a canal from the Tigris by which he ensured a contin- 
uous supply of fresh water. These were the facts which 
the memorial was primarily intended to record, but, like 
the text of Adad-nirari I, the most interesting events 


for the historian are those referred to in the introduc- 
tory portions of the inscription. Before giving details 
concerning the founding of the new city, named Kar- 
Tukulti-Ninib, " the Fortress of Tukulti-Ninib," the 
king supplies an account of the military expeditions 
which he had conducted during the course of his reign 
up to the time when the foundation memorial was in- 
scribed. These introductory paragraphs record how the 
king gradually conquered the peoples to the north and 
northeast of Assyria, and how he finally undertook a 
successful campaign against Babylon, during which he 
captured the city and completely subjugated both North- 
ern and Southern Babylonia. Tukulti-Ninib's reign thus 
marks an epoch in the history of his country. 

We have already seen how, during the early ages 
of her history, Assyria had been merely a subject prov- 
ince of the Babylonian empire. Her rulers had been 
viceroys owing allegiance to their overlords in Baby- 
lon, under whose orders they administered the country, 
while garrisons of Babylonian soldiers, and troops com- 
manded by Babylonian officers, served to keep the coun- 
try in a state of subjection. Gradually, however, the 
country began to feel her feet and long for independence. 
The conquest of Babylon by the kings of the Country 
of the Sea * afforded her the opportunity of throwing 
off the Babylonian yoke. In the fifteenth century the 
Assyrian kings were powerful enough to have independ- 
ent relations with the kings of Egypt, and, during the 
two centuries which preceded Tukulti-Ninib 's reign, 

1 See above, Chapter V, p. 251. 


Assyria's relations with Babylon were the cause of con- 
stant friction due to the northern kingdom's growth in 
power and influence. The frontier between the two 
countries was constantly in dispute, and, though some- 
times rectified by treaty, the claims of Assyria often 
led to war between the two countries. The general 
result of these conflicts was that Assyria gradually 
extended her authority farther southwards, and en- 
croached upon territory which had previously been 
Babylonian. The successes gained by Ashur-uballit, 
Bel-nirari, and Adad-nirari I against the contemporary 
Babylonian kings had all resulted in the cession of fresh 
territory to Assyria and in an increase of her inter- 
national importance. Up to the time of Tukulti-Ninib 
no Assyrian king had actually seated himself upon 
the Babylonian throne. This feat was achieved by 
Tukulti-Ninib, and his reign thus marks an important 
step in the gradual advance of Assyria to the position 
which she later occupied as the predominant power in 
Western Asia. 

Before undertaking his campaign against Babylon, 
Tukulti-Ninib secured himself against attack from other 
quarters, and his newly discovered memorial inscrip- 
tion supplies considerable information concerning the 
steps he took to achieve this object. In his inscription 
the king does not number his military expeditions, and, 
with the exception of the first one, he does not state 
the period of his reign in which they were undertaken. 
The results of his campaigns are summarized in four 
paragraphs of the text, and it is probable that they are 


not described in chronological order, but are arranged 
rather according to the geographical position of the 
districts which he invaded and subdued. Tukulti-Ninib 
records that his first campaign took place at the begin- 
ning of his sovereignty, in the first year of his reign, 
and it was directed against the tribes and peoples in- 
habiting the territory on the east of Assyria. Of the 
tribes which he overran and conquered on this occasion 
the most important was the Kuti, who probably dwelt 
in the districts to the east of the Lower Zab. They were 
a turbulent race and they had already been conquered 
by Arik-den-ilu and Adad-nirari I, but on neither occa- 
sion had they been completely subdued, and they had 
soon regained their independence. Their subjugation 
by Tukulti-Ninib was a necessary preliminary to any 
conquest in the south, and we can well understand why 
it was undertaken by the king at the beginning of his 
reign. Other conquests which were also made in the 
same region were the Ukumani and the lands of Elkhu- 
nia, Sharnida, and Mekhri, mountainous districts which 
probably lay to the north of the Lower Zab. The coun- 
try of Mekhri took its name from the mekhru-tree, a 
kind of pine or fir, which grew there in abundance upon 
the mountainsides, and was highly esteemed by the 
Assyrian kings as affording excellent wood for build- 
ing purposes. At a later period Ashur-nasir-pal invaded 
the country in the course of his campaigns and brought 
back beams of mekhru-wood, which he used in the con- 
struction of the temple dedicated to the goddess Ishtar 
in Nineveh. 


The second group of tribes and districts enumerated 
by Tukulti-Ninib as having been subdued in his early 
years, before his conquest of Babylon, all lay probably 
to the northwest of Assyria. The most powerful among 
these peoples were the Shubari, who, like the Kuti on 
the eastern border of Assyria, had already been con- 
quered by Adad-nirari I, but had regained their inde- 
pendence and were once more threatening the border on 
this side. The third group of his conquests consisted 
of the districts ruled over by forty kings of the lands 
of Na'iri, which was a general term for the mountain- 
ous districts to the north of Assyria, including territory 
to the west of Lake Van and extending eastwards to 
the districts around Lake Urmi. The forty kings in 
this region whom Tukulti-Ninib boasts of having sub- 
dued were little more than chieftains of the mountain 
tribes, each one possessing authority over a few villages 
scattered among the hills and valleys. But the men of 
Na'iri were a warlike and hardy race, and, if left long 
in undisturbed possession of their native fastnesses, they 
were tempted to make raids into the fertile plains 
of Assyria. It was therefore only politic for Tukulti- 
Mnib to traverse their country with fire and sword, and, 
by exacting heavy tribute, to keep the fear of Assyrian 
power before their eyes. From the king's records we 
thus learn that he subdued and crippled the semi-inde- 
pendent races living on his borders to the north, to the 
northwest, and to the east. On the west was the desert, 
from which region he need fear no organized attack 
when he concentrated his army elsewhere, for his 


permanent garrisons were strong enough to repel and 
punish any incursion of nomadic tribes. He was thus in 
a position to try conclusions with his hereditary foe in 
the south, without any fear of leaving his land open to 
invasion in his absence. 

The campaign against Babylon was the most impor- 
tant one undertaken by Tukulti-Ninib, and its success- 
ful issue was the crowning point of his military career. 
The king relates that the great gods Ashur, Bel, and 
Shamash, and the goddess Ishtar, the queen of heaven 
and earth, marched at the head of his warriors when 
he set out upon the expedition. After crossing the 
border and penetrating into Babylonian territory he 
seems to have had some difficulty in forcing Bitiliashu, 
the Kassite king who then occupied the throne of Baby- 
lon, to a decisive engagement. But by a skilful dis- 
position of his forces he succeeded in hemming him in, 
so that the Babylonian army was compelled to engage 
in a pitched battle. The result of the fighting was a 
complete victory for the Assyrian arms. Many of the 
Babylonian warriors fell fighting, and Bitiliashu himself 
was captured by the Assyrian soldiers in the midst of 
the battle. Tukulti-Mnib boasts that he trampled his 
lordly neck beneath his feet, and on his return to As- 
syria he carried his captive back in fetters to present 
him with the spoils of the campaign before Ashur, the 
national god of the Assyrians. 

Before returning to Assyria, however, Tukulti-Ninib 
marched with his army throughout the length and 
breadth of Babylonia, and achieved the subjugation of 


the whole of the Sumer and Akkad. He destroyed the 
fortifications of Babylon to ensure that they should not 
again be used against himself, and all the inhabit- 
ants who did not at once submit to his decrees he put 
to the sword. He then appointed his own officers to 
rule the country and established his own system of 
administration, adding to his previous title of " King 
of Assyria," those of " King of Karduniash (i. e. Baby- 
lonia) " and " King of Sumer and Akkad." It was 
probably from this period that he also adopted the 
title of " King of the Four Quarters of the World." 
As a mark of the complete subjugation of their ancient 
foe, Tukulti-Ninib and his army carried back with 
them to Assyria not only the captive Babylonian king, 
but also the statue of Marduk, the national god of Baby- 
lon. This they removed from E-sagila, his sumptuous 
temple in Babylon, and they looted the sacred treasures 
from the treasure-chambers, and carried them off to- 
gether with the spoil of the city. 

Tukulti-Ninib no doubt left a sufficient proportion 
of his army in Babylon to garrison the city and support 
the governors and officials into whose charge he com- 
mitted the administration of the land, but he himself 
returned to Assyria with the rich spoil of the campaign, 
and it was probably as a use for this large increase of 
wealth and material that he decided to found another 
city which should bear his own name and perpetuate it 
for future ages. The king records that he undertook 
this task at the bidding of Bel (t. e. the god Ashur) , 
who commanded that he should found a new city and 


build a dwelling-place for kirn therein. In accordance 
with the desire of Ashur and the gods, which was thus 
conveyed to him, the king founded the city of Kar- 
Tukulti-Ninib, and he erected therein temples dedicated 
not only to Ashur, but also to the gods Adad, and Sha- 
mash, and Ninib, and Nusku, and Nergal, and Imina-bi, 
and the goddess Ishtar. The spoils from Babylon and 
the temple treasures from E-sagila were doubtless used 
for the decoration of these temples and the adornment 
of their shrines, and the king endowed the temples and 
appointed regular offerings, which he ordained should 
be their property for ever. He also built a sumptuous 
palace for his own abode when he stayed in the city, 
which he constructed on a mound or terrace of earth, 
faced with brick, and piled high above the level of the 
city. Finally, he completed its fortification by the erec- 
tion of a massive wall around it, and the completion of 
this wall was the occasion on which his memorial tablet 
was inscribed. 

The memorial tablet was buried and bricked up 
within the actual structure of the wall, in order that 
in future ages it might be read by those who found it, 
and so it might preserve his name and fame. After 
finishing the account of his building operations in the 
new city and recording the completion of the city wall 
from its foundation to its coping stone, the king makes 
an appeal to any future ruler who should find it, in the 
following words: " In the days that are to come, when 
this wall shall have grown old and shall have fallen 
into ruins, may a future prince repair the damaged 


parts thereof, and may he anoint my memorial tablet 
with oil, and may he offer sacrifices and restore it unto 
its place, and then Ashur will hearken unto his prayers. 
But whosoever shall destroy this wall, or shall remove 
my memorial tablet or my name that is inscribed 
thereon, or shall leave Kar-Tukulti-Ninib, the city of 
my dominion, desolate, or shall destroy it, may the lord 
Ashur overthrow his kingdom, and may he break his 
weapons, and may he cause his warriors to be defeated, 
and may he diminish his boundaries, and may he ordain 
that his rule shall be cut off, and on his days may he 
bring sorrow, and his years may he make evil, and may 
he blot out his name and his seed from the land! " 

By such blessings and curses Tukulti-Ninib hoped 
to ensure the preservation of his name and the rebuild- 
ing of his city, should it at any time be neglected and 
fall into decay. Curiously enough, it was in this very 
city that Tukulti-Ninib met his own fate less than seven 
years after he had founded it. At that time one of his 
own sons, who bore the name of Ashur-nasir-pal, con- 
spired against his father and stirred up the nobles to 
revolt. The insurrection was arranged when Tukulti- 
Ninib was absent from his capital and staying in Kar- 
Tukulti-Ninib, where he was probably protected by only 
a small bodyguard, the bulk of his veteran warriors 
remaining behind in garrison at Ashur. The insurgent 
nobles, headed by Ashur-nasir-pal, fell upon the king 
without warning when he was passing through the city 
without any suspicion of risk from a treacherous attack. 
The king defended himself and sought refuge in a neigh- 


bouring house, but the conspirators surrounded the 
building and, having forced an entrance, slew him with 
the sword. Thus Tukulti-Mnib perished in the city he 
had built and beautified with the spoils of his campaigns, 
where he had looked forward to passing a peaceful and 
secure old age. Of the fate of the city itself we know 
little except that its site is marked to-day by a few 
mounds which rise slightly above the level of the sur- 
rounding desert. The king's memorial tablet only has 
survived. For some 3,200 years it rested undisturbed 
in the foundations of the wall of unburnt brick, where 
it was buried by Tukulti-Ninib on the completion of 
the city wall. Thence it was removed by the hands of 
modern Arabs, and it is now preserved in the British 
Museum, where the characters of the inscription may 
be seen to be as sharp and uninjured as on the day when 
the Assyrian graver inscribed them by order of the 

In the account of his first campaign, which is pre- 
served upon the memorial tablet, it is stated that the 
peoples conquered by Tukulti-Ninib brought their yearly 
tribute to the city of Ashur. This fact is of considerable 
interest, for it proves that Tukulti-Ninib restored the 
capital of Assyria to the city of Ashur, removing it from 
Calah, whither it had been transferred by his father 
Shalmaneser I. The city of Calah had been founded 
and built by Shalmaneser I in the same way that his son 
Tukulti-Ninib built the city of Kar-Tukulti-Ninib, and 
the building of both cities is striking evidence of the 
rapid growth of Assyria and her need of expansion 


^rr^Hr— - lacs 



--^-JUiA — I — r ,. J- . r . 

' T p-~ *? -* f ' 7 L 

f r » *" r i" >»> T" «Ti | T'T/t 
■* I r< .Jl T f- Y ' 

** ^ i A *"" 


^ <« 

T *' 

Stone Tablet. 

Bearing an inscription of Tukulti-Ninib I, King of Assyria, about B.C. 1275. 




around fresh centres prepared for administration and 
defence. The shifting of the Assyrian capital to Calah 
by Shalmaneser I was also due to the extension of As- 
syrian power in the north, in consequence of which there 
was need of having 
the capital nearer 
the centre of the 
country so enlarged. 
Ashur 's recovery of 
her old position un- 
der Tukulti-Ninib I 
was only a tempo- 
rary check to this 
movement north- 
wards, and, so long 
as Babylon re- 
mained a conquered 
province of the As- 
syrian empire, obvi- 
ously the need for 
a capital farther 
north than Ashur 


would not have been 

pressing. But with Tukulti-Ninib 's death Babylon re- 
gained her independence and freed herself from Assyr- 
ian control, and the centre of the northern kingdom 
was once more subject to the influences which eventu- 
ally resulted in the permanent transference of her capi- 
tal to Nineveh. To the comparative neglect into which 
Ashur and Calah consequently fell, we may probably 


trace the extensive remains of buildings belonging to 
the earlier periods of Assyrian history which have been 
recovered and still remain to be found, in the mounds 
that mark their sites. 

We have given some account of the results already 
achieved from the excavations carried out during the 
last two years at Sherghat, the site of the city of Ashur. 
That much remains to be done on the site of Calah, 
the other early capital of Assyria, is evident from even 
a cursory examination of the present condition of the 
mounds that mark the location of the city. These 
mounds are now known by the name of Mmrud and are 
situated on the left or eastern bank of the Tigris, a 
short distance above the point at which it is joined by 
the stream of the Upper Zab, and the great mound 
which still covers the remains of the ziggurat, or temple 
tower, can be seen from a considerable distance across 
the plain. During the excavations formerly carried out 
here for the British Museum, remains of palaces were 
recovered which had been built or restored bv Shal- 
maneser I, Ashur-nasir-pal* Shalmaneser II, Tiglath- 
pileser III, Sargon, Esarhaddon, and Ashur-etil-ilani. 
After the conclusion of the diggings and the removal 
of many of the sculptures to England, the site was 
covered again with earth, in order to protect the re- 
mains of Assyrian buildings which were left in place. 
Since that time the soil has sunk and been washed 
away by the rains so that many of the larger sculp- 
tures are now protruding above the soil, an example 
of which is seen in the two winged bulls in the palace 


of Ashur-nasir-pal. It is improbable that the mounds 
of Nimrud will yield such rich results as Sherghat, but 
the site would probably well repay prolonged and sys- 
tematic excavation. 

We have hitherto summarized and described the 
principal facts, with regard to the early history of 
Babylonia and Assyria and the neighbouring countries, 
which have been obtained from the excavations con- 
ducted recently on the sites of ancient cities. Prom 
the actual remains of the buildings that have been un- 
earthed we have secured information with regard to 
the temples and palaces of ancient rulers and the plans 
on which they were designed. Prom the objects of daily 
life and of religious use which have been recovered, such 
as weapons of bronze and iron, and vessels of metal, 
stone, and clay, it is possible for the archaeologist to 
draw conclusions with regard to the customs of these 
early peoples; while from a study of their style and 
workmanship and of such examples of their sculpture 
as have been brought to light, he may determine the 
stage of artistic development at which they had arrived. 
The clay tablets and stone monuments that have been 
recovered reveal the family life of the people, their 
commercial undertakings, their system of legislation 
and land tenure, their epistolary correspondence, and 
the administration under which they lived, while the 
royal inscriptions and foundation-memorials throw light 
on the religious and historical events of the period in 
which they were inscribed. Information on all these 
points has been acquired as the result of excavation, 


and is based on the discoveries in the ruins of early 
cities which have remained buried beneath the soil for 
some thousands of years. But for the history of As- 
syria and of the other nations in the north there is still 
another source of information to which reference must 
now be made. 

The kings of Assyria were not content with record- 
ing their achievements on the walls of their buildings, 
on stelae set up in their palaces and temples, on their 
tablets of annals preserved in their archive-chambers, 
and on their cylinders and foundation-memorials con- 
cealed within the actual structure of the buildings them- 
selves. They have also left records graven in the living 
rock, and these have never been buried, but have been 
exposed to wind and weather from the moment they 
were engraved. Records of irrigation works and mili- 
tary operations successfully undertaken by Assyrian 
kings remain to this day on the face of the mountains 
to the north and east of Assyria. The kings of one 
great mountain race that had its capital at Van bor- 
rowed from the Assyrians this method of recording 
their achievements, and, adopting the Assyrian char- 
acter, have left numerous rock-inscriptions in their own 
language in the mountains of Armenia and Kurdistan. 
In some instances the action of rain and frost has nearly 
if not quite obliterated the record, and a few have been 
defaced by the hand of man. But as the majority are 
engraved in panels cut on the sheer face of the rock, 
and are inaccessible except by means of ropes and 
tackle, they have escaped mutilation. The photograph 



reproduced will serve to show the means that must be 
adopted for reaching such rock-inscriptions in order 
to examine or copy them. The inscription shown in 
the photograph is one of those cut by Sennacherib in 


the gorge near Bavian, through which the river Gomel 
flows, and can be reached only by climbing down ropes 
fixed to the top of the cliff. The choice of such posi- 
tions by the kings who caused the inscriptions to be 



engraved was dictated by the desire to render it diffi- 
cult to destroy them, but it has also had the effect of 
delaying to some extent their copying and decipherment 
by modern workers. Considerable progress, however, 


has recently been made in identifying and copying these 
texts, and we may here give a short account of what has 
been done and of the information furnished by the 
inscriptions that have been examined. 

Recently considerable additions have been made to 



our knowledge of the ancient empire of Van and of its 
relation to the later kings of Assyria by the labours 
of Prof. Lehmann and Dr. Belck on the inscriptions 
which the kings of that period caused to be engraved 


The flat roofs of the houses of the city of Van may be seen to the 
left of the photograph nestling below the rock. 

upon the rocks among the mountains of Armenia. The 
centre and capital of this empire was the ancient city 
which stood on the site of the modern town of Van at 
the southwest corner of the lake which bears the same 
name. The city was built at the foot of a natural rock 


which rises precipitously from the plain, and must have 
formed an impregnable stronghold against the attack 
of the foe. 

In this citadel at the present day remain the 
ancient galleries and staircases and chambers which 
were cut in the living rock by the kings who made 
it their fortress, and their inscriptions, engraved upon 
the face of the rock on specially prepared and polished 
surfaces, enable us to reconstruct in some degree the 
history of that ancient empire. From time to time 
there have been found and copied other similar texts, 
which are cut on the mountainsides or on the massive 
stones which formed part of the construction of their 
buildings and fortifications. A complete collection of 
these texts, together with translations, will shortly be 
published by Prof. Lehmann. Meanwhile, this scholar 
has discussed and summarized the results to be obtained 
from much of his material, and we are thus already 
enabled to sketch the principal achievements of the 
rulers of this mountain race, who were constantly at 
war with the later kings of r Assyria, and for two cen- 
turies at least disputed her claim to supremacy in this 
portion of Western Asia. 

The country occupied by this ancient people of Van 
was the great table-land which now forms Armenia. 
The people themselves cannot be connected with the 
Armenians, for their language presents no character- 
istics of those of the Indo-European family, and it is 
equally certain that they are not to be traced to a 
Semitic origin. It is true that they employed the 



Assyrian method of writing their inscriptions, and their 
art differs only in minor points from that of the As- 
syrians, but in both instances this similarity of culture 
was directly borrowed at a time when the less civilized 







race, having its centre at Van, came into direct con- 
tact with the Assyrians. The exact date at which this 
influence began to be exerted is not certain, but we 
have records of immediate relations with Assyria in 
the second half of the ninth century before Christ. The 


district inhabited by the Vannic people was known to 
the Assyrians by the name of Urartu, and although the 
inscriptions of the earlier Assyrian kings do not record 
expeditions against that country, they frequently make 
mention of campaigns against princes and petty rulers 
of the land of Na'iri. They must therefore for long 
have exercised an indirect, if not a direct, influence on 
the peoples and tribes which lay more to the north. 

The earliest evidence of direct contact between the 
Assyrians and the land of Urartu which we at present 
possess dates from the reign of Ashur-nasir-pal, and in 
the reign of his son Shalmaneser II three expeditions 
were undertaken against the people of Van. The name 
of the king of Urartu at this time was Arame, and his 
capital city, Arzasku, probably lay to the north of Lake 
Van. On all three occasions the Assyrians were vic- 
torious, forcing Arame to abandon his capital and cap- 
turing his cities as far as the sources of the Euphrates. 
Subsequently, in the year 833 b. c, Shalmaneser II made 
another attack upon the country, which at that time 
was under the swav of Sarduris I. Under this mon- 
arch the citadel of Van bec&me the great stronghold of 
the people of Urartu, for he added to the natural 
strength of the position by the construction of walls 
built between the rock of Van and the harbour. The 
massive blocks of stone of which his fortifications were 
composed are standing at the present day, and they 
bear eloquent testimony to the energy with which this 
monarch devoted himself to the task of rendering his 
new citadel impregnable. The fortification and strength- 



ening of Van and its citadel was carried on during the 
reigns of his direct successors and descendants, Ispui- 
nis, Menuas, and Argistis I, so that when Tiglath-pile- 
ser III brought fire and sword into the country and 

... in—nil, i ■ ■ "-• 

• • . . . .-'•-■ 


laid siege to Van in the reign of Sarduris H, he could 
not capture the citadel. It was not difficult for the 
Assyrian king to assault and capture the city itself, 
which lay at the foot of the citadel as it does at the 
present day, but the latter, within the fortifications of 


which Sarduris and his garrison withdrew, proved itself 
able to withstand the Assyrian attack. The expedition 
of Tiglath-pileser III did not succeed in crushing the 
Vannic empire, for Rusas I, the son and successor of 
Sarduris II, allied himself to the neighbouring moun- 
tain races and gave considerable trouble to Sargon, the 
Assyrian king, who was obliged to undertake an expe- 
dition to check their aggressions. 

It was probably Rusas I who erected the buildings 
on Toprak Kala, the hill to the east of Van, traces of 
which remain to the present day. He built a palace 
and a temple, and around them he constructed a new 
city with a reservoir to supply it with water, possibly 
because the slopes of Toprak Kala rendered it easier 
of defence than the city in the plain (beneath the rock 
and citadel) which had fallen an easy prey to Tiglath- 
pileser III. The site of the temple on Toprak Kala has 
been excavated by the trustees of the British Museum, 
and our knowledge of Vannic art is derived from the 
shields and helmets of bronze and small bronze figures 
and fittings which were recovered from this building. 
One of the shields brought to the British Museum from 
the Toprak Kala, where it originally hung with others 
on the temple walls, bears the name of Argistis II, who 
was the son and successor of Rusas I, and who at- 
tempted to give trouble to the Assyrians by stirring the 
inhabitants of the land of Kummukh (Kommagene) to 
revolt against Sargon. His son, Rusas II, was the con- 
temporary of Esarhaddon, and from some recently dis- 
covered rock-inscriptions we learn that he extended the 


limits of his kingdom on the west and secured victories 
against Mushki (Meshech) to the southeast of the Halys 
and against the Hittites in Northern Syria. Rusas III 
rebuilt the temple on Toprak Kala, as we know from 
an inscription of his on one of the shields from that 
place in the British Museum. Both he and Sarduris III 
were on friendly terms with the Assyrians, for we know 
that they both sent embassies to Ashur-bani-pal. 

By far the larger number of rock-inscriptions that 
have yet been found and copied in the mountainous 
districts bordering on Assyria were engraved by this 
ancient Vannic people, and Drs. Lehmann and Belck 
have done good service by making careful copies and 
collations of all those which are at present known. 
Work on other classes of rock-inscriptions has also been 
carried on by other travellers. A new edition of the 
inscriptions of Sennacherib in the gorge of the Gomel, 
near the village of Bavian, has been made by Mr. King, 
who has also been fortunate enough to find a number 
of hitherto unknown inscriptions in Kurdistan on the 
Judi Dagh and at the sources of the Tigris. The in- 
scriptions at the mouth of the Nahr el-Kelb, " the Dog 
River," in Syria, have been reexamined by Dr. Knudt- 
zon, and the long inscription which Nebuchadnezzar II 
cut on the rocks at Wadi Brissa in the Lebanon, for- 
merly published by M. Pognon, has been recopied by 
Dr. Weissbach. Finally, the great trilingual inscription 
of Darius Hystaspes on the rock at Bisutun in Persia, 
which was formerly copied by the late Sir Henry Raw- 
linson and used by him for the successful decipherment 


of the cuneiform inscriptions, was completely copied 
last year by Messrs. King and Thompson. 1 

The main facts of the history of Assyria under her 
later kings and of Babylonia during the Neo-Babylonian 
and Persian periods were many years ago correctly 
ascertained, and recent excavation and research have 
done little to add to our knowledge of the history of 
these periods. It was hoped that the excavations con- 
ducted by Dr. Koldewey at Babylon would result in 
the recovery of a wealth of inscriptions and records 
referring to the later history of the country, but unfor- 
tunately comparatively few tablets or inscriptions have 
been found, and those that have been recovered consist 
mainly of building-inscriptions and votive texts. One 
such building-inscription contains an interesting his- 
torical reference. It occurs on a barrel-cylinder of clay 
inscribed with a text of Nabopolassar, and it was found 
in the temple of Mnib and records the completion and 
restoration of the temple by the king. In addition to 
recording the building operations he had carried out 
in the temple, Nabopolassar boasts of his opposition to 
the Assyrians. He says: " As for the Assyrians who 
had ruled all peoples from distant days and had set the 
people of the land under a heavy yoke, I, the weak and 
humble man who worshippeth the Lord of Lords (i. e. 
the god Marduk), through the mighty power of Nabu 
and Marduk, my lords, held back their feet from the 
land of Akkad and cast off their yoke." 

1 Messrs. King and Thompson are preparing a new edition of this in- 


It is not yet certain whether the Babylonians under 
Nabopolassar actively assisted Cyaxares and the Medes 
in the siege and in the subsequent capture of Mneveh 
in 606 b. c, but this newly discovered reference to the 
Assyrians by Nabopolassar may possibly be taken to 
imply that the Babylonians were passive and not active 
allies of Cyaxares. If the cylinder were inscribed after 
the fall of Nineveh we should have expected Nabopo- 
lassar, had he taken an active part in the capture of 
the city, to have boasted in more definite terms of his 
achievement. On his stele which is preserved at Con- 
stantinople, Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Baby- 
lonian empire, who himself suffered defeat at the hands 
of Cyrus, King of Persia, ascribed the fall of Nineveh 
to the anger of Marduk and the other gods of Babylon 
because of the destruction of their city and the spolia- 
tion of their temples by Sennacherib in 689 b. c. We see 
the irony of fate in the fact that Cyrus also ascribed the 
defeat and deposition of Nabonidus and the fall of 
Babylon to Marduk 's intervention, whose anger he al- 
leges was aroused by the attempt of Nabonidus to con- 
centrate the worship of the local city-gods in Babylon. 

Thus it will be seen that recent excavation and 
research have not yet supplied the data for filling in 
such gaps as still remain in our knowledge of the later 
history of Assyria and Babylon. The closing years of 
the Assyrian empire and the military achievements of 
the great Neo-Babylonian rulers, Nabopolassar, Nerig- 
lissar, and Nebuchadnezzar IE, have not yet been found 
recorded in any published Assyrian or Babylonian 


inscription, but it may be expected that at any moment 
some text will be discovered that will throw light upon 
the problems connected with the history of those periods 
which still await solution. Meanwhile, the excavations 
at Babylon, although they have not added much to our 
knowledge of the later history of the country, have been 
of immense service in revealing the topography of the 
city during the Neo-Babylonian period, as well as the 
positions, plans, and characters of the principal build- 
ings erected by the later Babylonian kings. The dis- 
covery of the palaces of Nebuchadnezzar II on the 
mound of the Kasr, of the small but complete temple 
E-makh, of the temple of the goddess Nin-makh to the 
northeast of the palaces, and of the sacred road divid- 
ing them and passing through the Great Gate of Ishtar 
(adorned with representations of lions, bulls, and drag- 
ons in raised brick upon its walls) has enabled us to 
form some conception of the splendour and magnificence 
of the city as it appeared when rebuilt by its last native 
rulers. Moreover, the great temple E-sagila, the famous 
shrine of the god Marduk, ha& been identified and partly 
excavated beneath the huge mound of Tell Amran ibn- 
Ali, while a smaller and less famous temple of Mnib 
has been discovered in the lower mounds which lie to 
the eastward. Finally, the sacred way from E-sagila 
to the palace mound has been traced and uncovered. 
We are thus enabled to reconstitute the scene of the 
most solemn rite of the Babylonian festival of the New 
Year, when the statue of the god Marduk was carried 
in solemn procession along this road from the temple 



to the palace, and the Babylonian king made his yearly 
obeisance to the national god, placing his own hands 
within those of Marduk, in token of his submission to 
and dependence on the divine will. 

Though recent excavations have not led to any start- 
ling discoveries with regard to the history of Western 


Asia during the last years of the Babylonian empire, 
research among the tablets dating from the Neo-Baby- 
lonian and Persian periods has lately added consider- 
ably to our knowledge of Babylonian literature. These 
periods were marked by great literary activity on the 
part of the priests at Babylon, Sippar, and elsewhere, 
who, under the royal orders, scoured the country for 
all remains of the early literature which was preserved 



in the ancient temples and archives of the country, and 
made careful copies and collections of all they found. 
Many of these tablets containing Neo-Babylonian copies 
of earlier literary texts are preserved in the British 
Museum, and have been recently published, and we have 
thus recovered some of the principal grammatical, relig- 


ious, and magical compositions of the earlier Babylo- 
nian period. Among the most interesting of such recent 
finds is a series of tablets inscribed with the Babylonian 
legends concerning the creation of the world and man, 
which present many new and striking parallels to the 
beliefs on these subjects embodied in Hebrew literature. 
We have not space to treat this subject at greater length 


in the present work, but we may here note that dis- 
covery and research in its relation to the later empires 
that ruled at Babylon have produced results of literary 
rather than of historical importance. But we should 
exceed the space at our disposal if we attempted even 
to skim this fascinating field of study in which so much 
has recently been achieved. For it is time we turned 
once more to Egypt and directed our inquiry towards 
ascertaining what recent research has to tell us with 
regard to her inhabitants during the later periods of 
her existence as a nation of the ancient world. 



"DEFORE we turned from Egypt to summarize the 
information, afforded by recent discoveries, upon the 
history of Western Asia under the kings of the Assyrian 
and Neo-Babylonian periods, we noted that the Asiatic 
empire of Egypt was regained by the reactionary kings 
of the XlXth Dynasty, after its temporary loss owing 
to the vagaries of Akhunaten. Palestine remained 
Egyptian throughout the period of the judges until 
the foundation of the kingdom of Judah. With the 
decline of military spirit in Egypt and the increasing 
power of the priesthood, authority over Asia became less 
and less a reality. Tribute was no longer paid, and the 
tribes wrangled without a restraining hand, during the 
reigns of the successors of Ramses III. By the time 
of the priest-kings of Thebes (the XXIst Dynasty) the 
authority of the Pharaohs had ceased to be exercised 
in Syria. Egypt was itself divided into two kingdoms, 
the one ruled by Northern descendants of the Ramessids 
at Tanis, the other by the priestly monarchs at Thebes, 



who reigned by right of inheritance as a result of the 
marriage of the daughter of Ramses with the high priest 
Amenhetep, father of Herhor, the first priest-king. The 
Thebans fortified Gebelen in the South and el-Hebi in 
the North against attack, and evidently their relations 
with the Tanites were not always friendly. 

In Syria nothing of the imperial power remained. 
The prestige of the god Amen of Thebes, however, was 
still very great. We see this clearly from a very in- 
teresting papyrus of the reign of Herhor, published in 
1899 by Mr. Golenischeff, which describes the adven- 
tures of Uenuamen, an envoy sent (about 1050 b. c.) 
to Phoenicia to bring wood from the mountains of Leb- 
anon for the construction of a great festival bark of 
the god Amen at Thebes. In the course of his mission 
he was very badly treated (We cannot well imagine 
Thothmes III or Amenhetep HI tolerating ill-treatment 
of their envoy!) and eventually shipwrecked on the coast 
of the land of Alashiya or Cyprus. He tells us in the 
papyrus, which seems to be the official report of his 
mission, that, having been given letters of credence to 
the Prince of Byblos from the King of Tanis, " to whom 
Amen had given charge of his North-land/' he at length 
reached Phoenicia, and after much discussion and argu- 
ment was able to prevail upon the prince to have the 
wood which he wanted brought down from Lebanon to 
the seashore. 

Here, however, a difficulty presented itself,— the har- 
bour was filled with the piratical ships of the Cretan 
Tjakaray, who refused to allow Uenuamen to return to 


Egypt. " They said, * Seize him; let no ship of his go 
J unto the land of Egypt! ' Then," says Uenuamen in 

the papyrus, " I sat down and wept. The scribe of the 
prince came out unto me; he said unto me, ' What ail- 
eth thee? ' I replied, i Seest thou not the birds which 
fly, which fly back unto Egypt? Look at them, they go 
unto the cool canal, and how long do I remain aban- 
doned here? Seest thou not those who would prevent 
my return? 9 He went away and spoke unto the prince, 
who began to weep at the words which were told unto 
him and which were so sad. He sent his scribe out 
unto me, who brought me two measures of wine and 
a deer. He sent me Tentnuet, an Egyptian singing-girl 
who was with him, saying unto her, ' Sing unto him, 
that he may not grieve! ' He sent word unto me, ' Eat, 
drink, and grieve not! To-morrow shalt thou hear all 
that I shall say.' On the morrow he had the people 
of his harbour summoned, and he stood in the midst 
of them, and he said unto the Tjakaray, ■ What aileth 
you? ' They answered him, i We will pursue the pirat- 
ical ships which thou sende^t unto Egypt with our un- 
happy companions.' He said unto them, i I cannot seize 
the ambassador of Amen in my land. Let me send him 
away and then do ye pursue after him to seize him! ' 
He sent me on board, and he sent me away ... to the 
haven of the sea. The wind drove me upon the land 
of Alashiya. The people of the city came out in order 
to slay me. I was dragged by them to the place where 
Hatiba, the queen of the city, was. I met her as she 
was going out of one of her houses into the other. I 


greeted her and said unto the people who stood by her, 
i Is there not one among you who understandeth the 
speech of Egypt? ' One of them replied, ' I understand 
it.' I said unto him, ' Say unto thy mistress: even as 
far as the city in which Amen dwelleth (i. e. Thebes) 
have I heard the proverb, " In all cities is injustice 
done; only in Alashiya is justice to be found," and 
now is injustice done here every day! ' She said, ' What 
is it that thou sayest? ' I said unto her, i Since the 
sea raged and the wind drove me upon the land in which 
thou livest, therefore thou wilt not allow them to seize 
my body and to kill me, for verily I am an ambassador 
of Amen. Remember that I am one who will be sought 
for always. And if these men of the Prince of Byblos 
whom they seek to kill (are killed), verily if their chief 
finds ten men of thine, will he not kill them also? ' She 
summoned the men, and they were brought before her. 
She said unto me, i Lie down and sleep . . .' " 

At this point the papyrus breaks off, and we do 
not know how Uenuamen returned to Egypt with his 
wood. The description of his casting-away and landing 
on Alashiya is quite Homeric, and gives a. vivid picture 
of the manners of the time. The natural impulse of the 
islanders is to kill the strange castaway, and only the 
fear of revenge and of the wrath of a distant foreign 
deity restrains them. Alashiya is probably Cyprus, 
which also bore the name Tantinay from the time of 
Thothmes HI until the seventh century, when it is 
called Yatnan by the Assyrians. A king of Alashiya 
corresponded with Amenhetep ni in cuneiform on 


terms of perfect equality, three hundred years before: 
" Brother," he writes, " should the small amount of the 
copper which I have sent thee be displeasing unto thy 
heart, it is because in my land the hand of Nergal my 
lord slew all the men of my land (i. e. they died of the 
plague), and there was no working of copper; and this 
w^as, my brother, not pleasing unto thy heart. Thy 
messenger with my messenger swiftly will I send, and 
whatsoever amount of copper thou hast asked for, 
my brother, I, even I, will send it unto thee." The 
mention by Herhor's envoy of Nesibinebdad (Smendes), 
the King of Tanis, a powerful ruler who in reality con- 
stantly threatened the existence of the priestly mon- 
archy at Thebes, as " him to whom Amen has committed 
the wardship of his North-land," is distinctly amusing. 
The hard fact of the independence of Lower Egypt had 
to be glozed somehow. 

The days of Theban power were coming to an end 
and only the prestige of the god Amen remained 
strong for two hundred years more. But the alliance 
of Amen and his priests with a band of predatory and 
destroying foreign conquerors, the Ethiopians (whose 
rulers were the descendants of the priest-kings, who 
retired to Napata on the succession of the powerful 
Bubastite djmasty of Shishak to that of Tanis, aban- 
doning Thebes to the Northerners) , did much to destroy 
the prestige of Amen and of everything connected with 
him. An Ethiopian victory meant only an Assyrian 
reconquest, and between them Ethiopians and Assyrians 
had well-nigh ruined Egypt. In the Sai'te period Thebes 


had declined greatly in power as well as in influence, 
and all its traditions were anathema to the leading peo- 
ple of the time, although not of course in Akhunaten's 

With the Saite period we seem almost to have re- 
traced our steps and to have reentered the age of 
the Pyramid Builders. All the pomp and glory of 
Thothmes, Amenhetep, and Ramses were gone. The 
days of imperial Egypt were over, and the minds of 
men, sickened of foreign war, turned for peace and 
quietness to the simpler ideals of the IVth and Vth 
Dynasties. We have already seen that an archaistic 
revival of the styles of the early dynasties is charac- 
teristic of this late period, and that men were buried 
at Sakkara and at Thebes in tombs which recall in form 
and decoration those of the courtiers of the Pyramid 
Builders. Everywhere we see this fashion of archaism. 
A Theban noble of this period named Aba was buried 
at Thebes. Long ago, nearly three thousand years 
before, under the Vlth Dynasty, there had lived a great 
noble of the same name, who was buried in a rock-tomb 
at Der el-Gebrawi, in Middle Egypt. This tomb was 
open and known in the days of the second Aba, who 
caused to be copied and reproduced in his tomb in the 
Asasif at Thebes most of the scenes from the bas-relief 
with which it had been decorated. The tomb of the 
Vlth Dynasty Aba has lately been copied for the Ar- 
chaeological Survey of Egypt (Egypt Exploration Fund) 
by Mr. de Garis Davies, who has found the reliefs of 
the XXVTth Dynasty Aba of considerable use to him 


in reconstituting destroyed portions of their ancient 

During late years important discoveries of objects 
of this era have been few. One of the most noteworthy 
is that of a contemporary inscription describing the 
battle of Momemphis, which is mentioned by Herodo- 
tus (ii, 163, 169). We now have the official account of 
this battle, and know that it took place in the third year 
of the reign of Amasis— not before he became king. 
This was the fight in which the unpatriotic king, Apries, 
who had paid for his partiality for the Greeks of Nau- 
kratis with the loss of his throne, was finally defeated. 
As we see from this inscription, he was probably mur- 
dered by the country people during his flight. 

The following are the most important passages of 
the inscription: " His Majesty (Amasis) was in the 
Festival-Hall, discussing plans for his whole land, when 
one came to say unto him, ' Haa-ab-Ea (Apries) is 
rowing up; he hath gone on board the ships which have 
crossed over. Haunebu (Greeks), one knows not their 
number, are traversing the f North-land, which is as if 
it had no master to rule it; he (Apries) hath sum- 
moned them, they are coming round him. It is he who 
hath arranged their settlement in the Peh-an (the An- 
dropolite name) ; they infest the whole breadth of 
Egypt, those who are on thy waters fly before them! 9 
. . . His Majesty mounted his chariot, having taken 
lance and bow in his hand . . . (the enemy) reached 
Andropolis; the soldiers sang with joy on the roads 
. . . they did their duty in destroying the enemy. His 


Majesty fought like a lion; he made victims among 
them, one knows not how many. The ships and their 
warriors were overturned, they saw the depths as do 
the fishes. Like a flame he extended, making a feast of 
fighting. His heart rejoiced. . . . The third year, the 
8th Athyr, one came to tell Majesty: ' Let their vile- 
ness be ended! They throng the roads, there are thou- 
sands there ravaging the land; they fill every road. 
Those who are in ships bear thy terror in their hearts. 
But it is not yet finished! ' Said his Majesty unto his 
soldiers: c . . . Young men and old men, do this in the 
cities and nomes! . . . Going upon every road, let not 
a day pass without fighting their galleys! ' . . . The 
land was traversed as by the blast of a tempest, des- 
troying their ships, which were abandoned by the crews. 
The people accomplished their fate, killing the prince 
(Apries) on his couch, when he had gone to repose in 
his cabin. When he saw his friend overthrown . . . 
his Majesty himself buried him (Apries), in order to 
establish him as a king possessing virtue, for his Maj- 
esty decreed that the hatred of the gods should be 
removed from him." 

This is the event to which we have already re- 
ferred in a preceding chapter, as proving the great 
amelioration of Egyptian ideas with regard to the treat- 
ment of a conquered enemy, as compared with those 
of other ancient nations. Amasis refers to the deposed 
monarch as his " friend/ ' and buries him in a manner 
befitting a king at the charges of Amasis himself. This 
act warded off from the spirit of Apries the just anger 



of the gods at his partiality for the " foreign devils," 
and ensured his reception by Osiris as a king neb 
mefikh, " possessing virtues." 

The town of Naukratis, where Apries established 
himself, had been granted to the Greek traders by 
Psametik I a century or more before. Mr. D. G. 
Hogarth's recent exploration of the site has led to a 
considerable modification of our first ideas of the place, 
which were obtained from Prof. Petrie 's excavations. 
Prof. Petrie was the discoverer of Naukratis, and his 
diggings told us what Naukratis was like in the first 
instance, but Mr. Hogarth has shown that several of 
his identifications were erroneous and that the map 
of the place must be redrawn. The chief error was in 
the placing of the Hellenion (the great meeting-place 
of the Greeks), which is now known to be in quite 
a different position from that assigned to it by Prof. 
Petrie. The " Great Temenos " of Prof. Petrie has now 
been shown to be non-existent. Mr. Hogarth has also 
pointed out that an old Egyptian town existed at Nau- 
kratis long before the Greeks came there. This town 
is mentioned on a very interesting stele of black basalt 
(discovered at Tell Gaif, the site of Naukratis, and 
now in the Cairo Museum), under the name of " Per- 
merti, which is called Nukrate." The first is the old 
Egyptian name, the second the Greek name adapted 
to Egyptian hieroglyphs. The stele was erected by 
Nekhtnebf, the last native king of Egypt, to commem- 
orate his gifts to the temples of Nei'th on the occasion 
of his accession at Sa'is. It is beautifully cut, and the 


inscription is written in a curious manner, with alpha- 
betic spellings instead of ideographs, and ideographs 
instead of alphabetic spellings, which savours fully of 
the affectation of the learned pedant who drafted it; 
for now, of course, in the fourth century before Christ, 
nobody but a priestly antiquarian could read hiero- 
glyphics. Demotic was the only writing for practical 

We see this fact well illustrated in the inscriptions 
of the Ptolemaic temples. The accession of the Ptole- 
mies marked a great increase in the material wealth 
of Egypt, and foreign conquest again came in fashion. 
Ptolemy Euergetes marched into Asia in the grand style 
of a Ramses and brought back the images of gods which 
had been carried off by Esarhaddon or Nebuchadnez- 
zar II centuries before. He was received on his return 
to Egypt with acclamations as a true successor of the 
Pharaohs. The imperial spirit was again in vogue, and 
the archaistic simplicity and independence of the Sa'ites 
gave place to an archaistic imperialism, the first-fruits 
of which were the repair and building of temples in the 
great Pharaonic style. On these we see the Ptolemies 
masquerading as Pharaohs, and the climax of absurdity 
is reached when Ptolemy Auletes (the Piper) is seen 
striking down Asiatic enemies in the manner of Amen- 
hetep or Ramses! This scene is directly copied from 
a Ramesside temple, and we find imitations of reliefs 
of Ramses II so slavish that the name of the earlier 
king is actually copied, as well as the relief, and appears 
above the figure of a Ptolemy. The names of the nations 


who were conquered by Thothmes III are repeated 
on Ptolemaic sculptures to do duty for the conquered 
of Euergetes, with all sorts of mistakes in spelling, 
naturally, and also w T ith later interpolations. Such an 
inscription is that in the temple of Kom Ombo, which 
Prof. Sayce has held to contain the names of " Caphtor 
and Casluhim " and to prove the knowledge of the latter 
name in the fourteenth century before Christ. The 
name of Caphtor is the old Egyptian Keftiu (Crete); 
that of Casluhim is unknown in real Old Egyptian 
inscriptions, and in this Ptolemaic list at Kom Ombo 
it may be quite a late interpolation in the lists, perhaps 
no older than the Persian period, since we find the 
names of Parsa (Persia) and Susa, which were certainly 
unknown to Thothmes III, included in it. We see 
generally from the Ptolemaic inscriptions that nobody 
could read them but a few priests, who often made 
mistakes. One of the most serious was the identifica- 
tion of Keftiu with Phoenicia in the Stele of Canopus. 
This misled modern archaeologists down to the time of 
Dr. Evans's discoveries at Knossos, though how these 
utterly un-Semitic looking Keftiu could have been Phoe- 
nicians was a puzzle to everybody. We now know, of 
course, that they were Mycenaean or Minoan Cretans, 
and that the Ptolemaic antiquaries made a mistake in 
identifying the land of Keftiu with Phoenicia. 

We must not, however, say too much in dispraise of 
the Ptolemaic Egyptians and their works. We have to 
be grateful to them indeed for the building of the tem- 
ples of Edfu and Dendera, which, owing to their later 


date, are still in good preservation, while the best pre- 
served of the old Pharaonic fanes, such as Medinet 
Habu, have suffered considerably from the ravages of 
time. For these temples show us to-day what an old 
Egyptian temple, when perfect, really looked like. They 
are, so to speak, perfect mummies of temples, while of 
the old buildings we have nothing but the disjointed 
and damaged skeletons. 

A good deal of repairing has been done to these build- 
ings, especially to that at Edfu, of late years. But the 
main archaeological interest of Ptolemaic and Roman 
times has been found in the field of epigraphy and the 
study of papyri, with which the names of Messrs. Ken- 
yon, Grenfell, and Hunt are chiefly connected. The 
treasures which have lately been obtained by the Brit- 
ish Museum in the shape of the manuscripts of Aris- 
totle's " Constitution of Athens," the lost poems of 
Bacchylides, and the Mimes of Herondas, all of which 
have been published for the trustees of that institution 
by Mr. Kenyon, are known to those who are inter- 
ested in these subjects. The long series of publications 
of Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt, issued at the expense of 
the Egypt Exploration Fund (Grseco-Roman branch), 
with the exception of the volume of discoveries at Teb- 
tunis, which was issued by the University of California, 
is also well known. 

The two places with which Messrs. Grenfell and 
Hunt's work has been chiefly connected are the Fayyum 
and Behnesa, the site of the ancient Pemje or Oxyr- 
rhynchus. The lake-province of the Fayyum, which 


attained such prominence in the days of the Xllth Dy- 
nasty, seems to have had little or no history during the 
whole period of the New Empire, but in Ptolemaic times 
it revived and again became one of the richest and most 
important provinces of Egypt. The town of Arsinoe 
was founded at Crocodilopolis, where are now the 
mounds of Kom el-Paris (The Mound of the Horse- 
man), near Medinet el-Payyum, and became the capital 
of the province. At Illahun, just outside the entrance 
to the Fay yum, was the great Nile harbour and entre- 
pot of the lake-district, called Ptolemai's Hormos. 

The explorations of Messrs. Hogarth, Grenfell, and 
Hunt in the years of 1895 - 6 and 1898 - 9 resulted in the 
identification of the sites of the ancient cities of Karanis 
(Kom Ushim), Bacchias (Umm el-'Atl), Euhemeria 
(Kasr el-Banat), Theadelphia (Harit), and Philoteris 
(Wadfa). The work for the University of California in 
1899 - 1900 at Umm el-Baragat showed that this place 
was Tebtunis. Dime, on the northern coast of the 
Birket Karun, the modern representative of the ancient 
Lake Moeris, is now known to be the ancient Sokno- 
paiou Nesos (the Isle of Soknopaios), a local form of 
Sebek, the crocodile-god of the Fayyum. At Karanis 
this god was worshipped under the name of Petesuchos 
(" He whom Sebek has given "), in conjunction with 
Osiris»Pnepheros (P-nefer-ho, "the beautiful of face"); 
at Tebtunis he became Seknebtunis, i. e. Sebek-neb- 
Teb-tunis (Sebek, lord of Tebtunis). This is a typical 
example of the portmanteau pronunciations of the lat- 
ter-day Egyptians. 


Many very interesting discoveries were made during 
the course of the excavations of these places (besides 
Mr. Hogarth's find of the temple of Petesuchos and 
Pnepheros at Karanis), consisting of Roman pottery of 
varied form and Roman agricultural implements, in- 
cluding a perfect plough. 1 The main interest of all, 
however, lies, both here and at Behnesa, in the papyri. 
They consist of Greek and Latin documents of all ages 
from the early Ptolemaic to the Christian. In fact, 
Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt have been unearthing and 
sifting the contents of the waste-paper baskets of the 
ancient Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptians, which had 
been thrown out on to dust-heaps near the towns. 
Nothing perishes in the dry climate and soil of Egypt, 
so the contents of the ancient dust-heaps have been 
preserved intact until our own day, and have been found 
by Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt, just as the contents of 
the houses of the ancient Indian rulers of Chinese Tur- 
kestan, at Niya and Khotan, with their store of Kha- 
roshthi documents, have been preserved intact in the 
dry Tibetan desert climate and have been found by 
Dr. Stein. 2 There is much analogy between the discov- 
eries of Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt in Egypt and those 
of Dr. Stein in Turkestan. 

The Graeco-Egyptian documents are of all kinds, 
consisting of letters, lists, deeds, notices, tax-assess- 
ments, receipts, accounts, and business records of every 
sort and kind, besides new fragments of classical authors 

1 Ulustrated on Plate IX of Fayum Towns and Their Papyri. 

2 See Dr. Stein's Sand-buried Ruins of Khotan, London, 1903. 


and the important " Sayings of Jesus," discovered at 
Behnesa, which have been published in a special pop- 
ular form by the Egypt Exploration Fund. 1 

These last fragments of the oldest Christian litera- 
ture, which are of such great importance and interest 
to all Christians, cannot be described or discussed here. 
The other documents are no less important to the stu- 
dent of ancient literature, the historian, and the soci- 
ologist. The classical fragments include many texts 
of lost authors, including Menander. We will give a 
few specimens of the private letters and documents, 
which will show how extremely modern the ancient 
Egyptians were, and how little difference there actually 
is between our civilization and theirs, except in the 
matter of mechanical invention. They had no locomo- 
tives and telephones; otherwise they were the same. 
We resemble them much more than we resemble our 
mediaeval ancestors or even the Elizabethans. 

This is a boy's letter to his father, who would not 
take him up to town with him to see the sights: " Theon 
to his father Theon, greeting. It was a fine thing of 
you not to take me with you to the city! If you won't 
take me with you to Alexandria, I won't write you a 
letter, or speak to you, or say good-bye to you; and 
if you go to Alexandria I won't take your hand or ever 
greet you again. That is what will happen if you won't 
take me. Mother said to Archelaus, i It quite upsets 
him to be left behind.' It was good of you to send me 
presents on the 12th, the day you sailed. Send me a 

1 Aoyla 'Irjaov, 1897, and New Sayings of Jesus, 1904. 


lyre, I implore you. If you don't, I won't eat, I won't 
drink: there now! " Is not this more like the letter 
of a spoiled child of to-day than are the solemnly dutiful 
epistles of even our grandfathers and grandmothers 
when young? The touch about " Mother said to Arche- 
laus, ' It quite upsets him to be left behind ' " is de- 
lightfully like the modern small boy, and the final re- 
quest and threat are also eminently characteristic. 

Here is a letter asking somebody to redeem the 
writer's property from the pawnshop: " Now please 
redeem my property from Sarapion. It is pledged for 
two minse. I have paid the interest up to the month 
Epeiph, at the rate of a stater per mina. There is a 
casket of incense-wood, and another of onyx, a tunic, 
a white veil with a real purple border, a handkerchief, 
a tunic with a Laconian stripe, a garment of purple 
linen, two armlets, a necklace, a coverlet, a figure of 
Aphrodite, a cup, a big tin flask, and a wine-jar. From 
Onetor get the two bracelets. They have been pledged 
since the month Tybi of last year for eight ... at the 
rate of a stater per mina. If the cash is insufficient 
owing to the carelessness of Theagenis, if, I say, it is 
insufficient, sell the bracelets and make up the money." 

Here is an affectionate letter of invitation: " Greet- 
ing, my dear Serenia, from Petosiris. Be sure, dear, 
to come up on the 20th for the birthday festival of the 
god, and let me know whether you are coming by boat 
or by donkey, that we may send for you accordingly. 
Take care not to forget." 

Here is an advertisement of a gymnastic display: 


" The assault-at-arms by the youths will take place 
to-morrow, the 24th. Tradition, no less than the dis- 
tinguished character of the festival, requires that they 
should do their utmost in the gymnastic display. Two 
performances. " Signed by Dioskourides, magistrate of 

Here is a report from a public physician to a magis- 
trate: " To Claudianus, the mayor, from Dionysos, pub- 
lic physician. I was to-day instructed by you, through 
Herakleides your assistant, to inspect the body of a 
man who had been found hanged, named Hierax, and 
to report to you my opinion of it. I therefore inspected 
the body in the presence of the aforesaid Herakleides 
at the house of Epagathus in the Broadway ward, and 
found it hanged by a noose, which fact I accordingly 
report.' ' Dated in the twelfth year of Marcus Aurelius 
(a.d. 173). 

The above translations are taken, slightly modified, 
from those in The Oxyrrhynchus Papyri, vol. i. The 
next specimen, a quaint letter, is translated from the 
text in Mr. Grenf ell's Greek Papyri (Oxford, 1896), 
p. 69: " To Noumen, police captain and mayor, from 
Pokas son of Onos, unpaid policeman. I have been mal- 
treated by Peadius the priest of the temple of Sebek 
in Crocodilopolis. On the first epagomenal day of the 
eleventh year, after having abused me about ... in 
the aforesaid temple, the person complained against 
sprang upon me and in the presence of witnesses struck 
me many blows with a stick which he had. And as 
part of my body was not covered, he tore my shirt, 


and this fact I called upon the bystanders to bear wit- 
ness to. Wherefore I request that if it seems proper 
you will write to Klearchos the headman to send him 
to you, in order that, if what I have written is true, 
I may obtain justice at your hands.' ' 

A will of Hadrian's reign, taken from the Oxyrrhy fi- 
chus Papyri (i, p. 173), may also be of interest: " This 
is the last will and testament, made in the street (i. e. 
at a street notary's stand), of Pekysis, son of Hermes 
and Didyme, an inhabitant of Oxyrrhynchus, being sane 
and in his right mind. So long as I live, I am to have 
powers over my property, to alter my will as I please. 
But if I die with this will unchanged, I devise my 
daughter Ammonous whose mother is Ptolema, if she 
survive me, but if not then her children, heir to my 
shares in the common house, court, and rooms situate 
in the Cretan ward. All the furniture, movables, and 
household stock and other property whatever that I 
shall leave, I bequeath to the mother of my children 
and my wife Ptolema, the freedwoman of Demetrius, 
son of Hermippus, with the condition that she shall 
have for her lifetime the right of using, dwelling in, 
and building in the said house, court, and rooms. If 
Ammonous should die without children and intestate, 
the share of the fixtures shall belong to her half-brother 
on the mother's side, Anatas, if he survive, but if not, 
to . . . No one shall violate the terms of this my will 
under pain of paying to my daughter and heir Ammo- 
nous a fine of 1,000 drachmae and to the treasury an 
equal sum." Here follow the signatures of testator and 


witnesses, who are described, as in a passport, one of 
them as follows: " I, Dionysios, son of Dionysios of 
the same city, witness the will of Pekysis. I am forty- 
six years of age, have a curl over my right temple, and 
this is my seal of Dionysoplaton." 

During the Roman period, which we have now 
reached in our survey, the temple building of the Ptole- 
mies was carried on with like energy. One of the best- 
known temples of the Roman period is that at Philae, 
which is known as the " Kiosk/' or " Pharaoh's Bed." 
Owing to the great picturesqueness of its situation, this 
small temple, which was built in the reign of Trajan, 
has been a favourite subject for the painters of the last 
fifty years, and next to the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and 
Karnak, it is probably the most widely known of all 
Egyptian buildings. Recently it has come very much 
to the front for an additional reason. Like all the other 
temples of Philae, it had been archaeologically surveyed 
and cleared by Col. H. G. Lyons and Dr. Borchardt, but 
further work of a far-reaching character was rendered 
necessary by the building of the great Aswan dam, 
below the island of Philae, one of the results of which 
has been the partial submergence of the island and its 
temples, including the picturesque Kiosk. The follow- 
ing account, taken from the new edition (1906) of Mur- 
ray's Guide to Egypt and the Sudan, will suffice better 
than any other description to explain what the dam is, 
how it has affected Philae, and what work has been 
done to obviate the possibility of serious damage to 
the Kiosk and other buildings. 



" In 1898 the Egyptian government signed a con- 
tract with Messrs. John Aird & Co. for the construc- 
tion of the great reservoir and dam at Shellal, which 
serves for the storage of water at the time of the flood 
Nile. The river is ' held up ' here sixty-five feet above 
its old normal level. 
A great masonry 
dyke, 150 feet high 
in places, has been 
carried across the 
Bab el-Kebir of the 
First Cataract, and 
a canal and four 
locks, two hundred 


feet long and thirty 
feet wide, allow for 
the passage of traffic 

up and down the river. The dam is 2,185 yards long 
and over ninety feet thick at the base; in places it rises 
one hundred feet above the bed of the river. It is built 
of the local red granite, and at each end the granite 
dam is built into the granite hillside. Seven hundred 
and eight thousand cubic yards of masonry were used. 
The sluices are 180 in number, and are arranged at four 
different levels. The sight of the great volume of water 
pouring through them is a very fine one. The Nile 
begins to rise in July, and at the end of November it 
is necessary to begin closing the sluice-gates to hold up 
the water. By the end of February the reservoir is 
usually filled and Philas partially submerged, so that 


boats can sail in and out of the colonnades and Pha- 
raoh's Bed. By the beginning of July the water has 
been distributed, and it then falls to its normal level. 

" It is of course regrettable that the engineers were 
unable to find another site for the dam, as it seemed in- 
evitable that some damage would result to the temples 
of Philae from their partial submergence. Korosko was 
proposed as a site, but was rejected for cogent reasons, 
and apparently Shellal was the only possible place. 
Further, no serious person, who places the greatest 
good of the greatest number above considerations of the 
picturesque and the ' interesting,' will deny that if it 
is necessary to sacrifice Philae to the good of the people 
of Egypt, Philae must go. ' Let the dead bury their 
dead.' The concern of the rulers of Egypt must be 
with the living people of Egypt rather than with the 
dead bones of the past; and they would not be doing 
their duty did they for a moment allow artistic and 
archaeological considerations to outweigh in their minds 
the practical necessities of the country. This does 
not in the least imply that they do not owe a lesser 
duty to the monuments of Egypt, which are among the 
most precious relics of the past history of mankind. 
They do owe this lesser duty, and with regard to Philae 
it has been conscientiously fulfilled. The whole temple, 
in order that its stability may be preserved under the 
stress of submersion, has been braced up and under- 
pinned, under the superintendence of Mr. Ball, of the 
Survey Department, who has most efficiently carried 
out this important work, at a cost of £22,000. Steel 



girders have been fixed across the island from quay to 
quay, and these have been surrounded by cement ma- 
sonry, made water-tight by forcing in cement grout. 
Pharaoh's Bed and the colonnade have been firmly 
underpinned in cement masonry, and there is little 
doubt that the actual stability of Philae is now more 


certain than that of any other temple in Egypt. The 
only possible damage that can accrue to it is the partial 
discolouration of the lower courses of the stonework of 
Pharaoh's Bed, etc., which already bear a distinct high- 
water mark. Some surface disintegration from the for- 
mation of salt crystals is perhaps inevitable here, but 
the effects of this can always be neutralized by careful 



washing, which it should be an important charge of 
the Antiquities Department to regularly carry out." 
The photographs accompanying the present chapter 


This is entirely covered when the reservoir is full, and the palm-trees are farther submerged. 

show the dam, the Kiosk in process of conservation 
and underpinning (1902), and the shores of the island 
as they now appear in the month of November, with 


the water nearly up to the level of the quays. A view 
is also given of the island of Konosso, with its inscrip- 
tions, as it is now. The island is simply a huge granite 
boulder of the kind characteristic of the neighbourhood 
of Shellal (Philae) and Aswan. 

On the island of Elephantine, opposite Aswan, an 
interesting discovery has lately been made by Mr. How- 
ard Carter. This is a remarkable well, which was sup- 
posed by the ancients to lie immediately on the tropic. 
It formed the basis of Eratosthenes' calculations of the 
measurement of the earth. Important finds of docu- 
ments written in Aramaic have also been made here; 
they show that there was on the island in Ptolemaic 
times a regular colony of Syrian merchants. 

South of Aswan and Philae begins Nubia. The Nu- 
bian language, which is quite different from Arabic, is 
spoken by everybody on the island of Elephantine, and 
its various dialects are used as far south as Dongola, 
where Arabic again is generally spoken till we reach 
the land of the negroes, south of Khartum. In Ptole- 
maic and Roman days the Nubians were a powerful 
people, and the whole of Nubia and the modern North 
Sudan formed an independent kingdom, ruled by queens 
who bore the title or name of Candace. It was the 
eunuch of a Candace who was converted to Christianity 
as he was returning from a mission to Jerusalem to 
salute Jehovah. "Go and join thyself unto his chariot" 
was the command to Philip, and when the Ethiopian had 
heard the gospel from his lips he went on his way rejoic- 
ing. The capital of this Candace was at Meroe, the 



modern Bagarawiya, near Shendi. Here, and at Naga 
not far off, are the remains of the temples of the Can- 
daces, great buildings of semi-barbaric Egyptian style. 
For the civilization of the Nubians, such as it was, was 
of Egyptian origin. Ever since Egyptian rule had been 
extended southwards to Jebel Barkal, beyond Dongola, 
in the time of Amenhetep II, Egyptian culture had 
influenced the Nubians. Amenhetep III built a temple 
to Amen at Napata, the capital of Nubia, which lay 



under the shadow of Mount Barkal; Akhunaten erected 
a sanctuary of the Sun-Disk there; and Ramses II also 
built there. 

The place in fact was a sort of appanage of the 
priests of Amen at Thebes, and when the last priest- 
king evacuated Thebes, leaving it to the Bubastites of 
the XXIId Dynasty, it was to distant Napata that he 
retired. Here a priestly dynasty continued to reign 
until, two centuries later, the troubles and misfortunes 
of Egypt seemed to afford an opportunity for the 


reassertion of the exiled Theban power. Piankhi Mera- 
men returned to Egypt in triumph as its rightful sov- 
ereign, but his successors, Shabak, Shabatak, and Tirha- 
kah, had to contend constantly with the Assyrians. 
Finally TJrdamaneh, Tirhakah's successor, returned to 
Nubia, leaving Egypt, in the decadence of the Assyrian 
might, free to lead a quiet existence under Psametik I 
and the succeeding monarchs of the XXVIth Dynasty. 
When Cambyses conquered Egypt he aspired to con- 
quer Nubia also, but his army was routed and destroyed 
by the Napatan king, who tells us in an inscription how 
he defeated " the man Kambasauden," who had at- 
tacked him. At Napata the Nubian monarchs, one of 
the greatest of whom in Ptolemaic times was Ergam- 
enes, a contemporary of Ptolemy Philopator, continued 
to reign. But the first Roman governor of Egypt, iElius 
Gallus, destroyed Napata, and the Nubians removed 
their capital to Meroe, where the Candaces reigned. 

The monuments of this Nubian kingdom, the temples 
of Jebel Barkal, the pyramids of Nure close by, the 
pyramids of Bagarawiya, the temples of Wadi Ben 
Naga, Mesawwarat en-Naga, and Mesawwarat es-Sufra 
(" Mesawwarat " proper), were originally investigated 
by Cailliaud and afterwards by Lepsius. During the 
last few years they and the pyramids excavated by Dr. 
E. A. Wallis Budge, of the British Museum, for the 
Sudan government, have been again explored. As the 
results of his work are not yet fully published, it is 
possible at present only to quote the following descrip- 
tion from Cook's Handbook for Egypt and the Sudan 



(by Dr. Budge), p. 6, of work on the pyramids of Jebel 
Barkal: " The writer excavated the shafts of one of the 
pyramids here in 1897, and at the depth of about twenty- 
five cubits found a group of three chambers, in one of 
which were a number of bones of the sheep which was 

sacrificed there about 
two thousand years 
ago, and also portions 
of a broken amphora 
which had held Rho- 
dian wine. A second 
shaft, which led to 
the minnmy-chamber, 
was partly emptied, 
but at a further 
depth of twenty cu- 


NOVEMBER, 1904. 

The high- water mark of the reservoir when full is aild, aS there Were nO 


means for pumping it 
out, the mummy-chamber could not be entered." With 
regard to the Bagarawiya pyramids, Dr. Budge writes, 
on p. 700 of the same w r ork, a propos of the story of the 
Italian Ferlini that he found Roman jewelry in one of 
these pyramids: " In 1903 the writer excavated a num- 
ber of the pyramids of Meroe for the Governor-General 
of the Sudan, Sir F. R. Wingate, and he is convinced 
that the statements made by Ferlini are the result of 
misapprehension on his part. The pyramids are solid 
throughout, and the bodies are buried under them. 
When the details are complete the proofs for this view 


will be published." Dr. Budge has also written upon 
the subject of the orientation of the Jebel Barkal and 
Nure pyramids. 

It is very curious to find the pyramids reappearing 
in Egyptian tomb-architecture in the very latest period 
of Egyptian history. We find them when Egyptian 
civilization was just entering upon its vigorous man- 
hood, then they gradually disappear, only to revive in 
its decadent and exiled old age. The Ethiopian pyra- 
mids are all of much more elongated form than the old 
Egyptian ones. It is possible that they may be a sur- 
vival of the archaistic movement of the XXVIth Dv- 
nasty, to which we have already referred. 

These are not the latest Egyptian monuments in the 
Sudan, nor are the temples of Naga and Mesawwarat 
the most ancient, though they belong to the Roman 
period and are decidedly barbarian as to their style 
and, especially, as to their decoration. The southern- 
most as well as latest relic of Egypt in the Sudan is 
the Christian church of Soba, on the Blue Nile, a few 
miles above Khartum. In it was found a stone ram, an 
emblem of Amen-Ra, which had formerly stood in the 
temple of Naga and had been brought to Soba perhaps 
under the impression that it was the Christian Lamb. 
It was removed to the garden of the governor-general's 
palace at Khartum, where it now stands. 

The church at Soba is a relic of the Christian king- 
dom of Alua, which succeeded the realm of the Can- 
daces. One of its chief seats was at Dongola, and all 
Nubia is covered with the ruins of its churches. It was, 


of course, an offshoot of the Christianity of Egypt, but 
a late one, since Isis was still worshipped at Philae in 
the sixth century, long after the Edict of Theodosius 
had officially abolished paganism throughout the Roman 
world, and the Nubians were at first zealous votaries 
of the goddess of Philae. So also when Egypt fell be- 
neath the sway of the Moslem in the seventh century, 
Nubia remained an independent Christian state, and 
continued so down to the twelfth century, when the sol- 
diers of Islam conquered the country. 

Of late pagan and early Christian Egypt very much 
that is new has been discovered during the last few 
years. The period of the Lower Empire has yielded much 
to the explorers of Oxyrrhynchus, and many papyri of 
interest belonging to this period have been published 
by Mr. Kenyon in his Catalogue of the Greek Papyri 
in the British Museum, especially the letters of Mavius 
Abinnaeus, a military officer of the fourth century. The 
papyri of this period are full of the high-flown titles and 
affected phraseology which was so beloved of Byzan- 
tine scribes. " Glorious Dukes of the Thebai'd," " most 
magnificent counts and lieutenants," " all-praiseworthy 
secretaries," and the like strut across the pages of 
the letters and documents which begin " In the name 
of Our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, the God and 
Saviour of us all, in the year x of the reign of the most 
divine and praised, great, and beneficent Lord Flavius 
Heraclius (or other) the eternal Augustus and Auto- 
krator, month x 9 year x of the Indiction." It is an 
extraordinary period, this of the sixth and seventh 


centuries, which we have now entered, with its bizarre 
combination of the official titulary of the divine and 
eternal Caesars Imperatores Augusti with the initial 
invocation of Christ and the Trinity. It is the transi- 
tion from the ancient to the modern world, and as such 
has an interest all its own. 

In Egypt the struggle between the adherents of 
Chalcedon, the " Melkites " or Imperialists of the 
orthodox Greek rite, and the Eutychians or Mono- 
physites, the followers of the patriarch Dioskoros, who 
rejected Chalcedon, was going on with unabated fury, 
and was hardly stopped even by the invasion of the 
pagan Persians. The last effort of the party of Con- 
stantinople to stamp out the Monophysite heresy was 
made when Cyril was patriarch and governor of Egypt. 
According to an ingenious theory put forward by Mr. 
Butler, in his Arab Conquest of Egypt, it is Cyril the 
patriarch who was the mysterious Mukaukas, the 
fieyavxvs, or " Great and Magnificent One/' who played 
so doubtful a part in the epoch-making events of the 
Arab conquest by 'Amr in a. d. 639 - 41. Usually this 
Mukaukas has been regarded as a " noble Copt," and 
the Copts have generally been credited with having 
assisted the Islamites against the power of Constanti- 
nople. This was a very natural and probable conclu- 
sion, but Mr. Butler will have it that the Copts resisted 
the Arabs valiantlv, and that the treacherous Mukaukas 
was none other than the Constantinopolitan patriarch 

In the papyri it is interesting to note the gradual 


increase of Arab names after the conquest, more espe- 
cially in those of the Archduke Rainer's collection from 
the Fayyum, which was so near the new capital city, 
Fustat. In Upper Egypt the change was not noticeable 
for a long time, and in the great collection of Coptic 
ostraka (inscriptions on slips of limestone and sherds 
of pottery, used as a substitute for paper or parch- 
ment), found in the ruins of the Coptic monastery 
established on the temple site of Der el-Bahari, we 
find no Arab names. These documents, part of which 
have been published by Mr. W. E. Crum for the Egypt 
Exploration Fund, while another part will shortly be 
issued for the trustees of the British Museum by Mr. 
Hall, date to the seventh and eighth centuries. Their 
contents resemble those of the earlier papyri from 
Oxyrrhynchus, though they are not of so varied a na- 
ture and are generally written by persons of less intel- 
ligence, i. e. the monks and peasants of the monasteries 
and villages of Tjeme, or Western Thebes. During the 
late excavation of the Xlth Dynasty temple of Der 
el-Bahari, more of these ostraka were found, which 
will be published for the Egypt Exploration Fund by 
Messrs. Naville and Hall. Of actual buildings of the 
Coptic period the most important excavations have 
been those of the French School of Cairo at Bawit, 
north of Asyut. This work, which was carried on by 
M. Jean Cledat, has resulted in the discovery of very 
important frescoes and funerary inscriptions, belonging 
to the monastery of a famous martyr, St. Apollo. 

With these new discoveries of Christian Egypt our 


work reaches its fitting close. The frontier which 
divides the ancient from the modern world has almost 
been crossed. We look back from the monastery of 
Bawit down a long vista of new discoveries until, four 
thousand years before, we see again the Great Heads 
coming to the Tomb of Den, Narmer inspecting the 
bodies of the dead Northerners, and, far away in Baby- 
lonia, Naram-Sin crossing the mountains of the East 
to conquer Elam, or leading his allies against the prince 
of Sinai. 




Aahmes, king XVIIIth Dynasty, 337, 

Aba, a noble, 433 
Abeshu, Babylonian king, 249 

Letters of, 295, 310 
Abnub, statuette of, 365 
Abu Ghuraib, temple at, 102, 103 
Abu Hatab, excavations at, 165 
Abu-'l-Haggag, Moslem shekh, 373 
Abusir, pyramids at, 95, 101, 103 
Abydos, 59, 340, 344 

Abyssinia, connection with Egypt, 40, 133 
Adad-nirari, Assyrian king, 398, 402 
Administration in Babylon, 314 
Agriculture in Babylon, 286 
Agum, Kassite ruler, 253, 254 
Aha, king, tomb of, 49, 57, 61, 83 

Identified with Sma (?), 73 ; with Mena, 

74, 76, 80 
Aha-f-ka, priest of Snefru, 120 
Almas, 131 

Ai, king XVIIIth Dynasty, 349 
Akaivasha = Achaians, 366 
Akh-aset, pyramid temple, 322 
Akhet-aten, city, 385 
Akhunaten (Amenhetep IV), heretic king, 

37, 99, 101, 133, 452 
Destroys temples of Amen, 343 
Mother of, 353 
Doctrine of, 383 
Neglects kingdom, 385 
Alashiya = Cyprus, 429, 431 
Alua, Christian King of Nubia, 455 
Alu-usharshid, King of Kish, 224, 228 
Amasis, 70, 434 
Amelineau, discoveries of, 59, 62, 63, 64, 

72, 73, 87 
Amen-Ra, or Amen, deity, temple of, 342- 

345, 384, 429, 431, 452, 455 
Amenemhat II, pyramid of, 118, 122 
Amenemhat III, pyramid of, 118, 121, 

Descent of, 137 
= Moeris, 318 

Amenhetep I, tomb of, 337 
Amenhetep II, tomb of, 351, 452 
Amenhetep III, tomb of, 349, 354 

= Memnon, 355, 452 
Amenhetep IV = Akhunaten 
Ammiditana, king First Dynasty, letter 

of, 303 
An, city, 78 

Ana, Sumerian deity, 183, 214 
Andrae, Dr., discoveries of, 166, 167, 389, 

Annunaki, spirits, 308 
Antef, name of Egyptian kings, 335, 337 
Anu, Northerners, 47, 54 
Anubis, Egyptian deity, 49, 61, 105, 347 
Apis, 81 

Apries, conquered by Amasis, 70, 434 
Arame, King of Van, 418 
Archaism of XXVIth Dynasty, 105 
Architecture, IVth Dynasty, 123 

Xllth, 123 
Arik-den-ilu, Assyrian ruler, 396, 399, 402 
Armenia, 416 

Arsaphes (Herakles). See Hershefi 
Art, Vth Dynasty, 101 
Asaru, Sumerian deity, 209 
Ashir = Ashur 

Ashur, city, excavations at, 167, 408, 409 
Ashur, deity, 393, 394 

= Bel, 405 
Ashur-bani-pal, library of, 146 
Ashur-nasir-pal, King of Assyria, 408, 

410, 418 
Assyria, gains independence, 400 

Buildings of, 396 

Culture of, 412 
Astrologers in Babylon, 303 
Aswan dam, 446 
Asyut, chiefs of, 132 
Ata, early King of Egypt, 56, 74 
Aten, the Sun-god, 383. See Akhunaten 
Ateth, early king, 56 

= Tja Ati (?), 74 
Attitude toward death in Egypt, 69 
Auabra Hor, identification of, 119 
Ayrton, discoveries of, 8, 89 





Babylon, excavations at, 106 

Administration in, 314 

Rise of Second Dynasty, 246 

Captured by Tukulti-Kinib, 404 

Culture of, 219, 411 
Babylonia, influence on Egypt, 35, 134, 316 

Influenced by Sumerians, 145 

Religion of, 208, 219 

Methods of dating, 241 

Calendar of, 304 
Bau, Sumerian deity, 193, 205, 209, 214 
Beadnell, H. J. L., discoveries of, 12 
Bel, Babylonian deity, 235, 404, 405. See 

Benson, Mrs., discoveries of, 374, 375 
Bet Allam, cemetery, 22 
Betjumer = Nariner (?), 76 
Bet Khallaf, tombs at, 81, 82, 85 
Binothris = Neneter, 79 
Bitiliashi, 253, 254, 259, 404 
Blankenhorn, discoveries of, 8, 11 
Boats in Babylonia, 297 
Borchardt, discoveries of, 97, 98, 110, 111 
Boundary -stones, 255 
Boyd, Harriet, discoveries of, 370 
Bubastis, town, 137 
Budge, Wallis, discoveries of, 87 
Building regulations in Babylon, 284 
Burial customs, 22, 33, 38, 66 
Bur-Sin, King of Ur, 225 
Buto, city, 44-46 

Calah, capital of Assyria, 408, 410 

Canals in Babylonia, 309 

Candace, Queen of Nubia, 451 

Carter, Howard, discoveries of, 322, 343, 

348, 372 
Castes in Babylon, 375 
Chalcolithic period, implements of, 13 

Data of, 18 
Chaldaean chronology, 185 
Cheops = Khuf u, 99 
Code of Hammurabi, 266 

On marriage, 269 

Castes, 275 

Slaves, 277 

Commercial usages, 279 

Building, 284 

Agriculture, 286 

Irrigation, 294 

Transportation, 297 
Copper, introduction into Egypt, 18 
" Country of the Sea," 251 

Sumerian origin of inhabitants, 252 

Rebellion against Babylon, 315 
Crete, relations with Egypt, 128, 130 

Crocodile-god, 440 

Cros, Gaston, discoveries of, 151-154, 178, 

Currelly, C. T., discoveries of, 46, 338, 

Cyprus, 429, 431 
Cyrus, King of Persia, 423 


Darius, inscription of, 421 

Dashur, necropolis, 95, 98 

Dauda, Sumerian king, 164 

Davis, Theodore, discoveries of, 348, 352 

Den, king, tomb of, 65, 73 

Der el-Bahari, excavations at, 321, 336- 

338, 342, 344, 348 
Dimgalabzu, Sumerian deity, 213 
Double-Axe, place of, 125 
Dra' Abu-'l-Neyga, necropolis, 337, 339 
Dumuzi (Tammuz), Sumerian deity, 195 
Dungi, King of Ur, 191, 225, 300 
Dunshaga, Sumerian deity, 211 


Ea, Babylonian deity, 235 
Ea-gamil, king Second Dynasty, 253 
Eannadu, ruler of Shirpurla, 36, 157, 172 
E-bab-bara, temple of Sun-god, 272 
Edfu, centre of sun-worship, 40, 44, 49, 

Egypt, early invasions of, 34, 139 

Relations with Babylon, 35, 316 

With Bedawin, 135 

Conquers Assyria, 140 

Division of, 428 
Egyptians, origin of, 30 

Two races, 33 

One race, 43 
r Language of, 35 
Elam, 172, 203 

Geography, 221 

Relations with Babvlon, 222, 223 

Rulers, 233, 236 

Not " Country of the Sea, 1 ' 251 
Elamite, civilization, 162 

Origin and culture, 226-233 
El-'Amra cemetery, 22, 43 
Elephantine, island, 451 
Embalming introduced, 38 
Emutbal, district of Elam, 244 
Enakilli, patesi of Gishkhu, 172 
Enannadu I and II, rulers of Shirpurla, 

173, 177 
E-ninnu, temple of Ningirsu, 196-220 
Enki, Sumerian deity, 183, 205, 210, 214 
Enlil, Babylonian deity, 171, 176, 180, 

183, 193, 196, 214 
Enlulim, Sumerian deity, 212 



Ensign un, Sumerian deity, 212 
Entemena, ruler Shirpurla, 154, 173-175 

Cones of, 176 
Enzu, Sumerian deity, 183, 214 
Erech, city, 183, 190, 191 
Eridu, Babylonian city, 191, 212 
Erosion, effects of, 6, 11 
E-sagida, temple of Marduk, 273 
Ethiopian stone = embalming knife, 14 
Evans, Arthur, discoveries of, 359, 361, 
362, 370 


Fara, excavations at, 165 
Fayyuin, the, 29, 126 
Flint implements, 5, 11, 15 

Galalim, Sumerian deity, 211 
Gamil-Sin, King of Ur, 153, 225 
Garstang, discoveries of, 63, 81, 137, 328 
Gatumdug, Sumerian deity, 193, 198, 205 
Gautier, discoveries of, 123, 124 
Gebelen, cemetery, 22 
Geese, fresco of, 358 
Gemnika = Kagemna 
Ghosts, habits of, 68 
Gilgamesh, Babylonian hero, 222 
Gishbare, Sumerian deity, 213 
Gishkhu, Babylonian city, 169-190 
Giza, pyramids of, 95 
Gol^nischeff, theory of, 137 
Gourlay, Miss, discoveries of, 374 
Greek and Egyptian, common origin of, 

Communication, 359 

Culture, 363 
Greek literature discovered, 441 
Gre"baut, discoveries of, 104, 350 
Gudea, Sumerian ruler, 153, 154, 191, 196 
Gu-edin, district, 171, 177, 202, 213 
Gurob, excavations at, 131 


Halbherr, discoveries of, 369 
Hall, discoveries of, 8, 321 
Hammurabi, ruler of Babylon, 139, 163 

Defeats Elamites, 243 

Letters of, 264, 299, 390 

Code of, 266, 304, 390 
Harim, slain with king, 71 
Harper, R. F., discoveries of, 164, 165 
Hathor, nurse of Horus, 40, 44, 328, 342, 

Hatshepsu, queen XVIIIth Dynasty, 321, 

Builds temple, 343, 346 

Tomb of, 348, 351 

Hatshepsut, 44 

Hawara, tombs and temples at, 119, 124 
Haynes, discoveries of, 164, 183 
Heliopolis, centre of sun-worship, 40, 44 

Conquered by Narmer, 47 
Hemaka, viceroy, 78 
Henensu = Herakleopolis 
Hen-neter= God's servant, 51 
Herakleopolis, kings of, 95, 102, 318 

Excavations at, 131, 132 
Herhor, first priest-king, 429, 432 
Herodotus, 92, 434 
Hershefi (Arsaphes), 131 
Hesepti, early king, 73, 74, 77 
Hierakonpolis (Nekheb-Nekhen), centre of 

sun-worship, 40, 41, 44, 46 
Hittites, possibly Mycenaeans, 137 
Hor. See Auabra Hor 
Horemheb, King of Egypt, 352 
Horus, the Sun-god, 40, 49 
Hyksos, shepherd kings, 96 

Origin, 136-139 

Invasion and conquest of, 317, 337 

Ibis-mummies, 89 

Hi, priest and ruler, 174 

Iluma-ilu, king Second Dynasty, 246, 248 

= Dingir-a-an, 252 
Ine-Sin, King of Ur, 225 
Iron, knowledge of in Egypt, 112 
Irrigation and civilization, 4 

In Babylon, 290 

In Egypt, 294 
Isin, Babylonian city, 190 
Iuaa, father of Queen Tii, 353 

J^quier, discoveries of, 119, 123, 124 
Jewelry in Egyptian tombs, 120 


Kadi, Kishite deity, 171 
Kagemna (Gemnika), mastaba of, 104 
Kahun, flints of, 15 
Kal, Sumerian deity, 213 
Karibu-sha-Shushinak, ruler of Elam, 233 
Karnak, temple of, 375, 378 
Kar-Tukulti-Ninib, city, 406 
Kashakti-Shugab, inscription of, 256, 258 
Kassites, conquer " Country of the Sea " 

and Babylon, 251, 253 
Keftiu (Cretans), 359, 363 
Khafra = Chephren, 1, 84 
Khasekhemui, early King of Egypt, 46, 

47, 51, 76, 77 
Tomb of, 85, 93 



Khent = Tjer 

Khentamerti, god of the dead, 61, 93. 

See Osiris 
Kheta (Hittites), 137 
Kheti, king, 132 
Khian, king, 138, 365 
Khnumhetep, prince, 136 
Khufu (Cheops), IVth Dynasty, 1, 84, 88, 

Dress of, 101 
Khumbaba, Elamite ruler, 222 
King, L. W., discoveries of, 167, 389 
Kings, lists of, 55, 72 

Identification of, 73 
Kish, 156, 224 
Knossos, labyrinth at, 125 

Vessels of, 361 
Koldewey, discoveries of, 165, 166, 389 
Kom es-Sultan, "Mound of the King," 

Koptos, excavations at, 42 
Kudur-mabug, Elamite ruler, 242-243 
Kudurru, 225 

Kutir-Nakhkhunte, liberates Elam, 236 
Kuyunjik (Nineveh), excavations at, 167, 

Labyrinth of Amenenihat III, 126 

Lakhainu, monster, 206 

Land tenure in Babylon, 261-263 

Larsam, Elamite city, 191, 243 

Legrain, Georges, discoveries of, 117-120, 

Lepsius, discoveries of, 110, 111, 348 
Lisht, pyramid, 95-98, 123 
Loret, discoveries of, 349 
Lugalenuruazagakam, Sumerian deity, 

Lugaligikhusam, Sumerian deity, 212 
Lugalkigubnidudu, 189 
Lugalkurdub, Sumerian deity, 211 
Lugalsisa, Sumerian deity, 212 
Lugalzaggisi, ruler of Gishkhu, 182-190 
Luxor, temple of, 373 
Lythgoe, discoveries of, 28 


Mace, discoveries of, 28, 59, 97, 339 
Maclver, Randall, discoveries of, 21, 28, 

32, 339 
Magan, 158 
Manes, 41 
Manetho, dynastic annalist, 55, 59, 63, 

73, 79, 81, 83, 92 
Manishtusu, obelisk of, 156 
Manium, 158 

Marduk, Babylonian deity, 191, 256, 422 
Statue taken by Assyrians, 405 

Marduk-aplu-iddina, king Third Dynasty, 
268, 259, 262 

Marriage in First Dynasty, 269 
Among Sumerians, 271 

Maspero, G., discoveries of, 95, 97, 107, 
124, 150, 190, 266, 348, 353 

Mastabat el-Fara'un, 107 

Maya, Egyptian official, 352 

Medum, cemetery, 33, 95 

Mekhu, district, 402 

Melishikhu, Third Dynasty, 258, 259, 

Melukhkha, land of, 203 

Memnon = Amenhetep III 

Memphis, founding of, 54, 56, 91 
Burial place, 61 

Mena (Menes), identification of, 53, 56, 

Meneptah, successor of Ramses II, 366 

Menes. See Mena 

Menkaura, IVth Dynasty, 84 

Mentuemhat, statue of, 375 

Mentuhetep III, 123, 342 

Mera, steward of palace, 320 

Merbap (Merpeba Atjab), 73, 74, 91 

Mereruka (Mera), tomb of, 104 

Merikara, inscriptions of, 132 

Merit, jewels of, 120 

Merneit, 74, 77 

Meroe, capital of Nubia, 451, 453, 454 

Mertisen, Egyptian artist, 331 

Mesilim, King of Kish, 157, 171 

Mesniu, followers of Horus, 41, 43 

Mesopotamia, different masters of, 314 

Middle Kingdom, intercourse with for- 
eigners of, 133 

Min, deity, 42, 49 

Minos, King of Crete, 125, 370 

Moeris = Amenemhat III, 318 

Momemphis, battle of, 434 

Monarchy, origin of, 32 

Mond, R. L., discoveries of, 357 

Mongol origin of Hyksos, theory of, 136 

Montelius, Prof. O., on antiquity of use 
of iron in Egypt, 113 

Months, Babylonian, 304 

Morgan, M. J. de, discoveries of, 21, 22, 
24, 28, 32, 57, 58, 63, 115, 119, 122, 
124, 155, 162, 221, 223, 226, 239, 255, 

Mukayyar = Ur, burials at, 2 

Mut, deity, 374 

Mycenaeans, represented, 137, 3G1 


Nabonidus, 185, 423 
Nabopolassar, 422 
Nabu, Babylonian deity, 166, 168 
Nag' ed-Der, excavations at, 27 



Na'iri, district of Assyria, 403, 418 
Nakada, cemetery, 22, 24, 49 

Tomb of Aha at, 67, 62 
Napata, capital of Nubia, 452 
Naram-Sin, invades Egypt, 133 
Inscriptions of, 157 

Son of Sargon I, 186, 190, 223, 228, 300 
Narmer, early King of Egypt, 46, 47 
Founded Memphis, 54 
Tomb of, 61 
Identification of, 74, 76 
Nati, Babylonian deity, 235 
Naukratis, 434, 436 
Naville, discoveries of, 63, 138, 321, 343, 

345, 347, 383 
Nazimaruttash, Third Dynasty, 256 
Nebhapet-Ra, wives buried, 71, 321, 322 

= Mentuhetep III, 335 
Neb-hetep Mentuhetep, Xlth Dynasty, 

322, 335 
Nebkaura, 132 
Nebuchadnezzar II, palace of, 166, 423- 

Necherophes, 83 
Necropoles, prehistoric, 22 
Neferarikara, Vth Dynasty, 98 
Nefertari, queen, tomb of, 371 
Nefret, queen of Usertsen II, 137 
Nefret-ari-Aahmes, worshipped, 341-342 
Nefret-iti, queen of Akhunaten, 385 
Neit-hetep, princess, 63 
Nekhebet, deity, 44 
Nekhen, shrine, 47 
Nekhtnebf, king, 436 
Ne-maat-hap, 81 
Neneter, lid Dynasty, 79 
Neolithic age, 5 
Pottery of, 15 
Population of, 32 
Ne-user-Ra, Vth Dynasty, temple of, 98, 

Dress of, 101 
Newberry, P. E., discoveries of, 63, 137, 

138, 319, 320, 328, 354, 357, 360 
Nidaba, deity of Gishkhu, 182, 183 
Nina, deity of Shirpurla, 172-174, 181, 

194, 198, 210, 391 
Ninaza, Babylonian deity, 193, 194 
Nindub, Sumerian deity, 199, 210 
Nineveh, excavations at, 167, 389 
Ningirsu, god of Shirpurla, 171, 174, 180, 

181, 193, 196 
Ningishzida, Sumerian deity, 193, 194, 

Ninib, Babylonian god, 166, 422 
Ninkharsag, Sumerian deity, 183, 193, 

214, 235 
Ninmakh, Sumerian deity, 166, 214 
Ninni (Ishtar), 181, 183, 193, 203, 235, 


Nin-tu-kalama, Sumerian deity, 303 
Nippur, excavations at, 183, 186 
Nomes, 45 

Standard of, 49 
Nubhetep, princess, 122 
Nubia, 451, 465 


Osiris, Egyptian deity, 61 
Tomb of, 62, 65 
Presided over ghosts, 69 
Worship of, 78 
Sculptures, 86, 88, 105 

Palaeolithic age, habitations in, 5 

Climate, 6 

Flints of, 11 
Palestine, relations with Egypt, 141, 428 
Pepi I, 47 

Perabsen = Sekhem-ab, 80 
Petesuchos (Sebek), crocodile-god, 440 
Petrie, Prof. Flinders, discoveries of, 11, 
12 n, 16, 19, 20, 21, 24, 28, 29, 32, 42, 
51 n, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 72, 74, 77, 
78, 83, 84, 89, 97, 99, 101, 111, 115, 
116, 117, 123, 130, 131, 336, 345, 366, 
368, 373, 375, 384 
Philae, temple at, 446, 456 
Philistines, 369, 370 
Phtah, god of Memphis, 93, 94 
Phtahhetep, author, 104 
Piankhi Meramen, 453 
Piehl, discoveries of, 115 
Pitt-Rivers, discoveries of, 10, 11 
Portch, discoveries of, 8 
Pottery, Neolithic, 15 

" Sequence dating " from, 19, 20 

Cretan, 87, 130 
Psametik I, 453 
Ptolemies, the, 140, 437, 453 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, 93 
Puenet = Punt 
Punt = Abyssinia, 40, 133 
Pyramids, Old and Middle Kingdom, 108 

The Step, 82 

Of M§dum, 83 

Method of building, 110, 117 


Qebh, early king, 73, 74 

Quibell, J., discoveries of, 24, 28, 29, 51, 

52, 58 




Ra, the Sun-god, temple at er-Righa, 102 

Ra Harniachis, the rising sun, 37, 103, 

Ttun-Ra, the setting sun, 37, 103 
Ra-Harinachis. See Ra 
Ramesseum, 319, 371 
Kamses I, 75 
Ramses II, 133 

Dress of, 101 

Body of, 348 

Colossus of, 372 
Ramses III, tombs of, 340, 365 

Attacked from North, 3(38 
Reisner, discoveries of, 27, 28, 29, 97 
Rekhmara, tomb of, 359 
Rim-Sin, Elamite ruler, 243, 249 
Rusas I, II, III, Kings of Van, 420 


Saghel el Baglieh, cemetery, 22 

Sahura, Vth Dynasty, 98 

Sakkara, necropolis, 1, 94, 103, 105 

Samsu-abu, First Dynasty, 314 

Samsu-ditana, First Dynasty, 250 

Samsu-iluna, ruler Babylon, 240, 245, 
249, 300 

Sanehat, 135 

Sa-nekht, Hid Dynasty, 81, 83 

Sargon I, King of Agade, 35, 185-190 
Conquers Elam, 223, 228, 300 

Sarzec, M. de, discoveries of, 148, 150- 
154, 190 n, 193, 195, 300 

Sayce, A. H., 146 

" Sayings of Jesus," 442 

Schafer, discoveries of, 98 

Schiaparella, discoveries of, 371 

Schweinfurth, Prof., 8 

Sebek (Seknebtunis), crocodile-god, 440 

Sebekhetep, official, 357 

Sebekneferura, daughter of Amenemhat 
III, 119 

Seker, god of the dead, 61, 94 

Sekhahetep-Ra Mentuhetep, Xlth Dy- 
nasty, 334 

Sekhem-ab (Perabsen), 81 

Sekhemet (Pakhet), 374 

Sekri = Seker 

Semerkha, 1st Dynasty, 84 

Semitic element in Egyptian language 
and culture, 39, 103 
Invasion of Egypt, 43 
Descent of Northerners, 48 
Conquest of Babylon and Elam, 228, 

Semti-Den = Onsaphais, 73 

Senmut, tomb of, 359 

Sennacherib, 42:3 

"Sequence dating," 42 

Serapeum, 106 

Sergi, discoveries of, 32 

Sesokhris (Sa-nekht ?), 82 

Set, deity, 81 

Seti I, 75 

Built temple at Abydos, 92 

Body of, 348 
Seton-Karr, excavations of, 8, 15 
Shadduf, for raising water, 295 
Shakanshabar, Sumerian deity, 212 
Shalmaneser I, 394, 396 
Shalmaneser II, 410, 418 
Shamash, Babylonian deity, 222, 235 
Shamshi-Adad, Assyrian ruler, 392, 395 
Sheb-Sin, a tax collector, 306, 307 
Shekh-' Abd el-Kurna, excavations at, 319, 

Shemsu, early king, 73, 74 
Shemsu-Heru, 41 
Sherghat, excavations at, 410 
Shirpurla (Telloh), excavations at, 148, 
152 178 

History of, 169, 190, 196 
Shubari, people, 403 
Shunet ez Zebib, city, 88 
Shushinak, deity of Elam, 234 
Shutruk-Nakhkhunte, Elamite king, 159 
Sin, deity, 235 
Sit-hathor, jewels of, 120 
Sin-idinnam, governor of Larsam, 300, 304 
Sin-muballit, Babylonian king, 243 
Slaves, buried with masters, 68 

In Babylon, 277 
Snefru, Hid Dynasty, tombs of, 56, 83, 

Invades Sinai, 133, 340 
"Sons of the Sun," 102 
Sphinx, emblem of Ra-Harmachis, 103 
Steindorff, discoveries of, 97, 335, 336, 360 
Stela = gravestone, 105 
Stele of Palermo, 46, 79 

Of Victory, 157 

Of Vultures, 36, 38, 154 
Step-Pyramid, 84, 86 
Stone age, implements of, 3, 8 

Settlements in, 4 
Sturge, Allen, 8 
Sumerian people, 134 

Influence, 134, 145, 191 

Civilization, 141, 145, 146, 149, 191 

Religion, 195-220 

Relations with Babylon, 228 
Susa, excavations at, 155, 160, 203 

Tancheres = Tatkara Assa 
Ta-neter = Abyssinia, 40, 44 
Tan is, Sphinxes of, 136 



Tatkara Assa, 104 

Taxes in Babylon, 306 

Tell el-Ainarna, 365, 385 

Telloh (Shirpurla), 148, 150, 178, 191, 

Temples, Assyrian and Babylonian 

Of Ashur in Ashur, 394 

Of Ashur in Kar-Tukulti-Ninib, 406 

Of Elamite deities, 301 

E-ninnu of Ningirsu, 194, 196 

E-sagila of Marduk at Babylon, 424 

Of Marduk sacked, 191 

Of Nin-makh, 424 

Of Shushinak, 233 

Of various Sumerian deities mentioned, 
180, 181, 193 

At Toprak Kala, 420 
Temples, Egyptian 

Akh-aset, 321 

Of Amen at Napata, 452 

Of Amen-Ra and Thothmes I and II, 
343, 347 

Of the Candaces, 452 

At Dendera and Edfu, 438 

The Great, 336, 343 

Of Hathor, 347 

By Queen Hatshepsu, 321, 336, 343 

At Hawara, 124 

Of Hershefi, 131 

At Karnak, 375 

At Luxor, 373 

Of Medinet Habu, 370 

Of Mut, 374 

Of Neith, 436 

Of Nekhen, 47 

Of Ne-user-Ra, 98 

Of Nubia generally, 453, 455 

Of Petesuchos and Pnepheros, 441 

At Philae, 446 

Of Queens of Thebes, 371 

Of Ra near Giza, 102 

By Seti I, 92 

By Snefru at Medum, 88 
Temti-agun, Elamite ruler, 237 
Teta, legendary king, 56, 74 
Teta-shera, queen, tomb of, 339 
Thebes, the dominant power, 132, 318 
This, 59 
Thompson, R. C, discoveries of, 167, 

Thot, 49 

Thothmes I, 343, 348 
Thothmes II, 343 
Thothmes III, 343, 346 
Thothmes IV, tomb of, 352 
Tiglath-Pileser I, 392 
Tiglath-Pileser III, 419, 420 
Tii, Queen of Amenhetep III, 353, 384 
Tjakaray, 429 
Tjer, tomb of, 86, 87 

Tjeser, invades Sinai, 133, 340 
Tjeser, Khetneter, 81, 83 
Tombs, Egyptian 

Of Aahmes at Abydos, 338 

Of Aba, 433 

Of Aha, 49, 57, 62, 63, 64 

Of Aha-f-ka, 120 

Of Amenemhat II, 118, 351 

Of Antef III and IV, 337 

Of Auabra Hor, 119, 121 

At Dashur, 108, 118 

Of King Den, 65, 85 

Of 1st and lid Dynasties, 60 

Of Gen-Amen, 358 

Of Herakleopolite kings, 95 

Of Hyksos kings, 96 

Of Imadua, 357 

Of Iuaa and Tuaa, 363 

Of Kagemna, 104 

Of Khasekhemui, 85 

Of Khent or Tjer, 86 

Of Merpeba Atjab, 73, 74, 91 

Of Middle Empire, 96, 108 

Of Neb-hapet-Ra Mentuhetep, 71, 321 

Of Neb-hetep Mentuhetep, 322 

Of Neferarikara, 98 

Of Neithetep, a princess, 63 

Of Ne-user-Ra, 98 

Of Osiris at Abydos, 69 

Of Princesses, 120, 122 

Of priestesses of Hathor, 328 

Of Rekhmara, 359 

Of Sahura, 98 

Of Sa-nekht, 81, 84 

Of Sebekhetep, 357 

Of Senmut, 359 

In Shekh Abd el-Kurna, 319 

Of Snefru, 83, 95 

Of Queen Teta-shera, 339 

Of Theban kings, 96 

Of Tjeser Khetneter, 81, 84, 85 

Of Thothmes I, 348 

Of Thothmes IV, 352 

Of Hid and IVth Dynasties, 60 

Of Uerarina, 104 

At Umm el-Ga'ab, 75, 87 

Of Usertsen I, 123 

Of Usertsen III, 118, 338 
Tombs, secondary, 340 
Toprak Kala, citadel of Van, 420 
Trade-routes, 283 
Tuaa, mother of Queen Tii, 353 
Tukh, cemetery, 22, 24, 58 
Tukulti-Ninib, King of Assyria, inscrip- 
tions of, 396, 398 

Conqueror, 402, 404 

Removes statue of Marduk, 405 
Tum-Ra or Turn, the Sun-god, 37, 103 
Turnure, list of, 92 
Tytus, C, 354 




Uenuamen, envoy of Herhor, 429 
Uerarina, 104 

Ukush, ruler of Gishkhu, 183, 189 
Ularn-Buriash, defeats Ea-gamil, 253 
Umin el-Ga'ab, cemetery, 64, 74, 75 

Pottery at, 87, 88 
Unas, King of Egypt, 340 
Ur, Elamite city, 190, 225, 243 
Urartu = Vannic territory, 418 
Ur-Engur, 191 
Urizu, Sumerian deity, 212 
Urkagina, ruler Shirpurla, 154, 177 
Urlunima, ruler Gishkhu, 172 
Ur-nina, King of Babylon, 153 
Usertsen (Senusret) I, statues of, 123 
Usertsen II, pyramid of, 15, 62, 124 
Usertsen III, portrait and statues of, 100, 

Pyramid of, 108, 118 

Jewels of, 121 

Invades Palestine, 136 

Possible Hittite descent, 137 

Tomb of, 338 
Usertsen IV, 382 

Ush, patesi of Gishkhu, 171 
Ushabtiu= "Answerers," 72, 329 
Ushpia, Assyrian ruler, 394-3'. , -> 
Ushumgabkalama, Sumerian deity 

Van, empire of, 415-422 

= Armenia, 416 
Vaphio, cups of, 361, 365 


Wadi esh-Shekh, 8, 15 

Wadi Hammamat, 40, 43, 135 

Wadiyen, valley of, 348, 349 

Wealth in Xllth and XVIIth Dynasties, 

Weigall, A. E. P., discoveries of, 338, 

Welsh, discoveries of, 369 
Writing, Sumerian, 149 

Yatnan (Yantinay) = Cyprus, 431 




34 BR 

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